Tuesday, August 23, 2011

our nature tray.

A nature table plays an important role in a Waldorf education....a place to gather seasonal objects and allow children to connect with nature by bringing it to eye and hand level.

I've been itching to get a nature table set up for Henry for quite a while but was stumped by the "table" concept.  


So I did what I do best; I improvised.  This ratty rattan tray was found in the trash across the street during one of our "college students throw away the best stuff" sessions of garbage grazing.  Ratty but perfect!  The tray makes it mobile which is a good thing because a three-year-old needs lots of options.  And few things make me happier than repurposing and reusing something that otherwise would have gone straight to the local landfill.


For a while, the nature tray only consisted of dead bugs.  Very nice dead bugs but Henry needed a little help understanding we could branch out of the dead bug business after he cried about needing a smushed dead roach for his nature tray.....



Today's nature tray consists of:  a small cicada, a large cicada, a bumblee, an iridescent beetle, a piece of coral, a shell, 2 rocks and a sand dollar.  Every item was lovingly added by Henry and constantly but tenderly rearranged by his sweet little hands.

Since the advent of our nature tray, Henry is definitely more in tune with "nature" and always on the lookout for new objects for his tray.

And, seriously, nothing is better than him yelling "Stop!" in the middle of book so he can run and bring me an object off his nature tray to show me how a picture in his book matches something on his nature tray.

Good things are at work in his little brain!!!

9 comments:

Christina Rose Morgan said...

This is a great idea!! You are very inspiring to me for when Adam and I have babies! I love reading your posts!

Laura @ our messy messy life. said...

Thanks, Christina! Taylor and I keep saying we need to make it to the coast to visit all our peeps!

Mandi @ Living the Good Life said...

Cute! You know I love it!

In this house, I never had the spot for the table and the actual table we used to use crashed and burned, so we adapted that old corner shelf that wasn't being used. It works pretty well :) I love me a nature table/shelf/tray!

Laura @ our messy messy life. said...

Mandi, Henry told me that Tripp has a nature tray too. Things are not official in this house unless we discuss Tripper's take on events :)

Mandi @ Living the Good Life said...

Ha! Well, I was showing this to Tripp today and he said now he had to make Henry some gnomes. Project!

Tricia said...

What a great thing to do! I'm about to pinterest you. That makes you super legit.

Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama said...

I love this idea! I can't wait to start doing this with Baby. We'll try it as soon as he stops putting every thing possible into his mouth ;-)

Thanks for linking up at Green & Natural Mamas Thursday! I'm following you on GFC now. Are you on Twitter? I can't find a Twitter handle for you. If so, message me on Twitter: @ithoughtiknewma Thanks!

Laura @ our messy messy life. said...

Tricia, please do. I feel the urge to be legit.

Charise, you could still use big rocks and things that are okay in his mouth although that would make it more of a sensory tray than a nature tray. I'm on my way to grab your button so I can remember to post on Thursdays! And, no, I'm not on Twitter....my internetting plate is full enough :)

Laura said...

like you we haven't had a good space for a nature table before, so we have had a little basket on the table too and it workds really well. Thanks for sharing yours :-)