I live in a pretty blessed in location. As a stay at home mum it really couldn't be any better. I can walk into a small market town and do my shopping, trundle to the library, get to baby groups and (this is the best bit) walk down an amazing old railway line into the forest. Along the way are country parks, pubs and all sorts of interesting places- including a Steiner School. This school has a lovely bakery, bookshop, craft shop, play area and cafe open to the public. Yesterday, empowered by the mild spring weather, me and the frog took a stroll to the school to kill some time. We had a great time, we picked up some more stock to fill our heuristic treasure basket, played in the table top water feature and browsed the bookshop. I've been itching to buy a new book for ages and found this fabulous Floris book on embracing the seasons with young children.
It offers great advice on living in a earth friendly way as well as ideas of craft and seasonal activities to share with young children. One of them is an idea I've been itching to try for while after randomly spotting someones "Christmas Season Table" on pintrest- A season table.
Back in the storms of December. I put it off, daunted by the prospect of gathering pinecones and sprigs of holly in a gale for the benefit of a three month old who had yet to find his fingers. Three months later my son is showing his nature loving side. Every time we go to the park his personal highlight seems to be diving at flowers and sticks.So spurred on by my new book and the inspiring creative challenge from becoming a SAHM's blog I've decided to enduldge my nature loving boy with his own seasons table.
|Our Lent Season Table|
What's the idea?
To create a dedicated space in your home or garden to bring nature in and celebrate the rhythm of life. Young children thrive not on routine, but rhythms. So bringing the seasons in helps reinforce the link between your child and the constancy of nature and the changing seasons.
How it's done
By putting a child's height surface in a quiet area of your home. I used an old coffee table we inherited even we moved into the pub. If you wanted something more aesthetically pleasing you could use an upturned wooden crate or a wide log. More economic/practical ideas include a shelf in a book case or a part of your counter top.
Next we set the mood of our season table through colour. As Lent has started this week I opted for a yellow tea towel to suggest the season of spring, chicks and daffodils. You could use any bit of recycled fabric or go to a local fabric shop- mine has an offcuts bin full of pieces of fabric that would be perfect for this purpose. Then the fun bit starts.
Once you've set the mood you can start bringing objects which you and your child feel celebrate what's
happening in outside. I brought in one of our daffodil plants from the garden, which has been much appreciated by Froggy's grasping fingers.Then we pulled out an old ladybird book on ducks for us to look at, and a lovely picture book cataloging a variety of different yellow objects.
Also making an appearance is an Easter bunny purchased by an enthusiastic relative. Which until setting up the take I'd been unable to find a use for (we do minimal toys for Froggy opting for books and Heuristic play instead). Now I'm relieved to have found a creative use for our surplus of soft toys by using them to help set the season, then storing safely the rest of the year.
|Little Frog exploring his season table|
|Enjoying the messy flour play and finger painting|
Whilst walking today we clipped a bit of budding blossom and let froggy carry it home. Now it's in water in a recycled bottle waiting to bloom in front of my little man's eyes. I'm planning a beach visit next week and will hopefully bring home some treasures to replace the eggshells and blossom stem. This caring and curation of the season table is an important part of the enjoyment of it. The idea is not to scientifically study the objects, but to celebrate our changing world and appreciate it.
As you can see froggy certainly enjoys our morning visit to the table. I'm really enjoying the visual enhancement this bright table has added to our home as well. I've definitely found that I'm stopping to take nature in more (pun unintended) whilst out and about. It's a lovely feeling finding something to show my baby and bringng it home together for our table.