season table / nature corner – why & how to
What is a Season Table / Nature Corner?
A special designated space in the home that is dedicated to reflecting the seasonal characteristics of the natural world around us. With seasonally chosen colours and natural objects changing in accordance to nature outside, this special space connects us with the rhythmic flow of the seasons.
Why have a Season Table?
The season table encourages a connection with the natural world around us and the changing seasons. It teaches children (and adults!) to slow down and see beauty all around us. It inspires wonder and awe. And you will as a family become more aware of the natural world around your home and neighbourhood.
The Season Table reflects nature around us – bringing it indoors to keep us continually reminded of our deep connection with Mother Earth. Over time, you will develop a sense of the particular qualities of each month, the colours, subtle changes and nuances. This is a wonderful benefit for you!
Nature finds such as shells, stones, conkers, can be added. Young children really enjoy this aspect, they are naturally fascinated by simple things such as pine cones and poppy seed heads and love to collect them on walks.
The seasonal changes that you make to your Season Table will bring a sense of rhythm for your children – the natural flow of the year – how the festivals are connected to natural events in nature – all this brings children a sense of security and wellbeing. They will also experience how we as adults care for the Season Table and enjoy the changes, and learn to value nature through our example.
Hallowe’en Pumpkin display with Ambrosius Flower Fairies
The great festivals of the year are also marked on the Season Table, as will family celebrations. What an exciting thing for a child to wake come down and see the changes on Easter Sunday, Christmas Day morning or Imbolc and Lammas, Eid and Hanukkah. For family birthdays, a celebration ring can be added, and a small treasure hidden there for the birthday girl or boy. My own children loved a little mini cake from the season table fairies, or a little birthday card from the gnomes that lived in the bark cave.
Eid al-Fitr Season Table with salt dough spiral and Mandala Mini Stones, Natural Cave, & Moon decoration.
Where should I put my season table?
Somewhere central to your living space – usually this is the living room or kitchen area/family meeting space. You can use a special unit in a corner, a small table to one side, a window sill, mantelpiece or shelf in a book case.
Michaelmas Season Table. Note the wonderful Virginia Creeper outside the window, becoming one with the indoor display!
What do I need?
You will need a cloth as background/base – a playsilk, cotton muslins or other cloths made from natural materials. My favourites to use are the natural plant dyed silks . Their colours harmonise with nature beautifully. A base and background cloth imbues the season table with colour and becomes a beautiful background to add your nature treasures and figures.
For height you can use my easy tip below, or if you can fit a screw or hook to the wall or space above, you can create a pleasing backdrop with height. An old framed picture, wooden board or even a chopping board can also be used to hang a cloth over, allow it to drape down for a base too. You can use a different cloth for background, and another one for the ‘floor’.
It is important that a nature corner be furbished with natural items. Add things from nature such as pretty leaves or acorns. Small figures made from natural materials such as fairies to represent elemental beings. A vase of seasonal flowers. A potted plant. Dried branches or flowers can also be a beautiful addition. Start small and build your collection of cloths and figures. You can make everything you need yourself if on a budget, and nature provides so much bounty at no cost at all! See our craft section for materials for making your own season table figures and animals.
What Colours for the Season Table?
I like to choose background / base cloth colours that resonate with my experience of the season, and these are my seasonal colour choices:
Autumn: ochre, orange, red, brown, purple
Winter: dark blue, blue, silver grey, white
Spring: pale green, pale yellow, pale pink
Summer: bright yellow, turquoise, grass green, orange
Some Waldorf kindergarten teachers make use of Goethe’s colour wheel:
Autumn to Advent: Lilac, deepening to purple, arriving at a ‘mood of blues’ for Advent
Early spring to Easter: Green, turning to yellow -green and finally a ‘song of yellow”
Early Summer to Midsummer: Peach/pale orange, a burst of red at St John’s
Michaelmas – red, turning to winter, and the cycle begins again….
My favourite cloths for the season table is the beautiful plant dyed range of silks. The colours harmonise perfectly with nature finds! You can also choose seasonal colours from 0ur range of playsilks .
Goethe’s Colour Wheel
How to create a super easy Season Table:
To show how simply you can do a season table I am showing you what you can do if you do not have a wall for a hook. Take a simple sturdy vase and fill with gravel/stones – add long stick. I couldn’t find any dowelling so I used a paint brush! You can use anything ‘stick’ like for this. A nature find perhaps?
As my main silk is somewhat transparent, I have added a base cloth – white – and then covered that with an early autumn colour – natural plant dyed silk.
I tied a loose knot in one corner, and pulled it over the paintbrush/stick. Easy!
I added a seasonal postcard in a postcard holder. Then I added a vase with some dried plants I collected during a walk. I picked some flowers in my garden and added those. A spruce cone, pine cone, acorns and a beach find stone completed my simple season table.
You can also keep things really simply if you do not have any wooden animal figures, or flower fairies. Here I have just used a two vases and nature finds, including some Virginia Creeper from the garden – instant garland effect! Play around with what you can find in your locality. With eyes on the look out for Season Table ingredients, the natural world will now seem full of treasures!
Caring for your season table:
It is a good idea to add to your weekly rhythm a season table clear up/refresh – for each handful of nature finds joining the season table, it is a good idea to remove that which has wilted and withered. Changing the whole display every now and then, with a shake of the cloth keeps it looking fresh and interesting, too. By looking after your season table, you will impact your children’s attitude and care towards the world around them.
The Season Table is of course a place for looking, and not playing. Little children can quickly learn that they may add treasures, but to not dismantle the arrangement. Do encourage this from an early age – very young children display a strong inclination to reverence. Older children will enjoy being part of caring for the space and making changes.
Do follow this blog throughout the year as we add photos and ideas as the seasons change. Tag us on Instagram #myriadmoment #myriadmakes if you would like your season table featured here.
This journal post was written by Veronica, you can contact her via firstname.lastname@example.org
Books with plenty of ideas for your nature corner / season table: