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From the Nature Table to the Heart

Natural Kids: From the Nature Table to the Heart

Friday, June 20, 2008

From the Nature Table to the Heart

From urban dwelling to suburban sprawl with chemically manicured lawns, to digital media games, our children are losing touch with nature. And yet, from all we read about the plight of our environment, global warming, growing endangered species lists, probably the most important gift we can bestow on the next generation is an ability to think independently with an appreciation and understanding of nature. But how can this be achieved when one does live in an urban environment.

Waldorf Education seeks to address this on many levels, but for the scope and purpose of today's article, let's focus on the concept of the nature table. I will rely on images from my Natural Kids Team colleagues for examples.

A nature table is a place in the home dedicated to displaying items which come directly from nature or which represent natural world in a real or imaginary way. It is very common for the nature table to feature seasonal items, such as for our upcoming summer season.

The table can be set with a lovely playsilk, such as Tiedyediva's hand dyed "Fire" play silk.

The intense colors bring the warmth of the sun indoors, without increasing the energy bill!

The sight of these sweet upcycled birds from
Mosey's shop bring the sounds of summer alive, while putting recycling to practical use within the home.
Her resuse of materials reminds us indirectly about how precious raw materials are and how one thing can have a new life through transformation into something else, rather than thrown out.

Some freshly knitted strawberries from
Woolies bring the flavor of summer and fresh produce to the table...

Animals from the forest can be invited, such as
Woodmouse's hand painted wooden hedgehog featured at the top of the article.

How about including a little elf from Fairiesnest to represent mythical forest dwellers...and give him a place where he might live,
Haddy2dogs gives us a natural home which seems plucked right from the woods!

Add some furniture made by Unwaveringfaith.

Bring in more of summer with Singingbird's beautiful, soft sunflower kissed by bees...

A monarch fluttering over the table in my own Nushkiedesign Soul Mates tapestry unites more of the insect and fairy world.

Freedomrainbow's Gramma Manatee brings an endangered and very much loved sea creature into our consciousness.

With Mother Earth from Faerirebecca's shop looking on...

Germandolls' wee elf baby sleeping seems to bring the day to an end, with the sound sleep that comes from a day in the forest well played!

A nature table can contain one or several of these types of items along with leaves, shells, acorns anything you find from nature.
It can be a simple or more elaborate presentation. But the elements all of these examples hold in common are, they are natural, depict elements or residents of the natural world, and create a sense of calm and beauty and most of all, ignite the imagination. Each item brings nature right to the heart of the child through the window of the imagination and inspires love, respect and sense of guardianship for natural world.

Rebecca Varon Remstein

All pictures courtesy of the identified artisans of the NaturalKids Team.


Blogger TheSingingBird said...

Great article Rebecca! I especially love the photo of Mosey's birds in the tree. I need to go tidy up some clutter so I can set up my own display now! ;)

June 20, 2008 at 11:25 AM  
Anonymous cary said...

I love this! I think nature tables are a wonderful idea for children and adults... it's one of the most special things that came from my son's Waldorf playgroup.

June 20, 2008 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger Faith said...

Nature husband is designing and building us a special place just for that purpose!! :0)

June 20, 2008 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger WoolComesAlive said...

What a beautiful article. I love the items you featured too! Thank you Nushkie!

June 20, 2008 at 10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OOOooo, and it's midsummer, which means my nature table faeries need to get out and change our scene. Time for mermaids and blue silks and sand dollars and shells collected from last year's beach vacation.

Lovely article :)

June 21, 2008 at 11:17 AM  

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