As I get ready to launch a new series here at Moon Child (stay tuned!), today I am pleased to share with you a guest post from a dear blogger friend, Helen Bird, author of the crafty blog Curly Birds with ideas on how to create an Autumn Nature Table, inspired by Waldorf traditions.

I hope it inspires you and your little ones to take a walk, gather treasures, and create your own seasonal table, a wonderful act of giving thanks to Mother Earth and her bounty.

Enjoy!

Bella Luna Toys

Creating a seasonal nature table is an enchanting way to connect your child with nature and the rhythm of the year. It encourages reverence for the earth and teaches children to see beauty in everyday found objects.

A nature table can evolve through the season. New treasures—such as a stone or an acorn found on a walk—can be added day-to-day, while other items can be taken away as they wilt and fade. In this way, the table can naturally progress from one season to the next, reflecting the rhythm of the year.

Waldorf EducationA nature table can be as simple as a few nature finds lovingly placed on a tray, shelf, or window sill, or it can take up a whole table and be adorned with colorful play silks, handcrafted fairy folk and other seasonal items.

Waldorf Nature TableThe colors on the table represent the colors of the season – for autumn think warm hues of oranges, yellows, browns, and reds.

Start by placing natural elements on your table, such as rocks, acorns, pressed leaves, and seed pods.

A simple way to produce beautiful handmade items for your nature table is to use Stockmar Modeling Beeswax to create your own seasonal figures, such as people, animals, plants, fruits or vegetables.

Children love the scent and warmth of natural beeswax. It is nourishing to a young child’s senses and inspires creativity. Working with beeswax also helps children with sensory integration and develops fine motor skills.

At first you will find that the wax is hard, but it becomes more pliable with the warmth from busy hands. The more a child plays with the wax, the more malleable it becomes. The wax can also be softened in warm water.

Beeswax does not dry out or crumble. It can be reused for many years and is perfect entertainment on car trips, in restaurants, or at doctor’s offices.

Stockmar Modeling Beeswax TutorialGive your child a piece of beeswax, and allow her to hold it in her hands while you while you tell a simple nature story of the season. At the end of the story, slowly begin sculpting your beeswax and let your child imitate you. Do not rush. Take your time to allow your child to create freely without feeling rushed.

This handsome bowl is filled with nutritious fruits of the earth to celebrate a harvest festival.

Different colors of modeling beeswax can be mixed to blend new colors. Take little pieces of different colored wax and press them together. Watch as the colors twist to form new colors. When the wax is stretched thin, it has a gorgeous translucent quality. Try holding it up toward a window and watch the sun shine through!

Waldorf Nature TableShape little petals and squeeze them together to make a pretty sunflower.

Seasonal Nature TableTo make fairy gnomes, start by turning a pine cone up-side-down. Cut a few limbs off of the bottom of the pine cone to make it stable. Press a piece of beeswax onto the bottom of the cone to weight it down. Roll a piece of beeswax into a head shape and push it onto the top of the pine cone. Press some wool roving into the warm wax head to make a beard and hair. Fashion the gnome a simple outfit from felt.

Wool Roving FireTo make a fire, twist some red, orange, and yellow roving together. Wrap warm beeswax around the roving and place a few sticks at the bottom of the fire to conceal the wax.

Stockmar Modeling Beeswax, Bella Luna ToysCreating a seasonal nature table is a lovely afternoon activity for parents and children to share together, and can cultivate feelings of reverence and gratitude in children.

Resources for Creating an Autumn Nature Table:

Felted Acorns
Play Silks
Stockmar Modeling Beeswax
Wooden Acorns
Wool Roving

Do you have a Nature Table or Nature Corner at home or at school? What other seasonal treasures from nature have adorned your table? Share your ideas (and photos) with us!

Written by Helen Bird

Helen Bird is a Waldorf mama and the creator of Curly Birds, a blog devoted to crafts for children and the art of play. The blog is aptly named for her curly-haired identical twin girls. Helen, her husband, and girls enjoy picnics, tea parties, gardening and general family fun.

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