Creating a seasonal, or nature, table in your home is a way to bring the beauty of the natural world indoors, and to help children connect more deeply with nature. It gives them a space to collect the special treasures they've found outdoors on nature walks, and an altar of sorts to come back to for reverence. The ritual of changing the table's decorations in the beginning of each season, or month even, helps them to become aware of the natural rhythms of the year.
To create a seasonal table of your own, you need not relegate an entire table or countertop. The size and scope of it are entirely up to you and the space you have available. It can be as simple as a handful of found natural objects on a tray with a candle, that can be moved from place to place for ease and storage. Or it can be as complex as a large, decorative spread across a table with accompanying calendars and hanging art.
The natural changes of the Earth are reflected in new objects added to the table, and the old ones are taken away as each season passes. The rich browns, burgundy, and oranges of autumn make way for crisp winter blue, purple and white reflecting the snow and cold.
Let's explore the key parts of our winter seasonal table!
Pick a Well Visited Spot
Encourage frequent exploration and engagement with your nature table by choosing a location that your family spends a lot of time around. Placing a daily calendar on or near your table is a great way to make sure your children spend time there often. A spot right near the front or back door is a good choice as well so children are encouraged to bring in treasures they find outdoors and have a specific place to put them. You could also store your nature journals around your table so that anytime you are about to embark on a nature walk, you stop by the table first and are reminded what beautiful objects you placed there already.
Set the Scene with Play Silks
Adding beautiful seasonal colors is easy with a few carefully chosen and draped play silks. Lay them on the table like a table cloth, wrap them around a vase, or carefully hang them from the wall and let them drape over the edge of the table for an ethereal, flowing feel.
Bring in Local, Seasonal Flora and Fauna
Spring and summer nature tables can be covered in beautiful fern fronds, colorful meadow wildflowers, and lush, green leaves. The choices are seemingly endless when the Earth is growing at full speed. In winter, though, you can still find evergreen branches like from fir trees, or holly berry branches with their beautiful small, red berries can add a touch of red. Fallen acorns and nuts can be scattered about the table, as well. We also placed a few walnut candles on our table!
Display Your Favorite Seasonal Books
Enjoy your very favorite seasonal books by keeping them out on display, easy to reach for reading. Books like The Story of the Snow Children by Sibylle von Olfers, the Gerda Miller seasonal books, such as Winter, or the seasonal A Year and a Day magazines, like the 2022 Winter issue make wonderful additions to a winter seasonal table.
Add a Celebration Ring with Seasonal Decorations
The Grimm's birthday rings and decorations are definitely not solely for birthdays! They make wonderful additions to seasonal tables as well. We carry lots of different decorative ornaments for each season, like the snowman and evergreen tree for winter. Birthday rings are also a great way to add candles to your table display. The act of lighting a candle symbolizes how we show our reverence and slow down to take the time to appreciate what is before us.
Decorate with Whimsical Objects
Our Winter Wool Felt Trees add a perfect touch of natural and playful, and they look beautiful paired with the Ostheimer Polar Bears. Winter felt flower fairies add small touches of magic, as well as a bowl of loose parts in seasonal colors. The possibilities are endless and can stretch as far as you and your children's imaginations can! Creating these tables is a fun way to decorate for the season in a way that speaks directly to you, as a family.