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.
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.
A 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.
The colors on the table represent the colors of the season – for autumn think warm hues of oranges, yellows, browns, and reds.
Spring has finally sprung here in Maine! This morning, after three days of deluge-like rainfall and flooding, we finally awoke to bright and welcome sunshine. When I stepped outside this morning, I saw the first spring bulbs blooming outside my doorstep. I was heartened that they had survived the pounding rain, and it inspired me to grab my camera. You can see, the honeybees are already out now, too!
The flowering bulbs reminded me that (yikes!) Easter is only three days away. My boys, being teenagers now, aren’t champing at the bit to color Easter eggs as the did when they were younger, but when I gently queried William (the artist formerly known as Whit) as to whether he was expecting a visit from the Easter bunny this year, he made it clear in no uncertain terms that he is. Made me realize it’s time to dye some eggs!
While I was teaching, we would always dye eggs naturally in our class, using colorful vegetables and fruits to produce subtle but beautiful hues. Red cabbage (yields a vibrant blue), and yellow onion skins (burnt sienna) were my favorites. We’d let the eggs soak in the dye baths overnight, then the real fun came the next day when we would pull the eggs out from under layers of cabbage, and later slowly un-peel the layers of onion skins that were wrapped and tied around each egg.
When they eggs were dry, we’d rub a little vegetable oil over each one to give them a glistening sheen. Gently, we’d place them in the baskets of Easter grass we’d grown, and admire them as a marvelous, colorful centerpiece before the children took them home for Easter.