The Autumn Nature Table
Inspired by Nature
I always like to cling on to the last days of summer, but once the Autumn Equinox arrives, I’m ready to fully embrace the delights of Autumn. It’s such a beautiful season, often warm enough to enjoy lazy days out, exploring all the delights that nature affords us at this time of year. Setting up our Autumn Nature Table is one of my favourite seasonal activities.
Having a corner of your home to create a seasonal display can help children to appreciate the changing seasons. It can act as a focal point for festivals, celebrations and story telling. Autumn has many celebrations for us to focus on; Hallowe’en, Samhain and the upcoming Diwali and Bonfire night. But, it can also provide us with a way to bring nature indoors, to investigate and explore.
The seasonal table provides us with a multi sensory experience and gives us a sense of rhythm, that one thing flows into another. What has once been, will come around again. All you need is a small space to display the seasonal items that you collect. It could be a low table top or a windowsill. If you don’t have much space, a shelf on a bookcase can be used or you could make a display to form the centre of the family dining table.
Wherever you chose to position it, it’s the perfect way to nurture a different level of respect, so that the small objects are handled carefully and replaced after use. This gives the table a special significance and separates it from being just a play area. Having said this, it is important that children feel able to touch and move the items; that it is not too precious to be enjoyed by younger members of the family.
Colour in Nature
One of the most beautiful things about Autumn is the changing colours that nature displays. Throughout the year the nature table can reflect the colours which nature displays in the great outdoors. Different shades and colours can be used throughout the year to create a particular mood.
As a guide, deep blues, white and silver can be used to signify winter, pale yellow and green for spring, bright yellow, green and pink for the summer months and in autumn time the colours of the changing leaves and rich bounty of the earth such as orange, red and brown can be used. The Ostheimer scarves can transform a seasonal display and really help to set the seasonal mood.
Bringing nature indoors
Getting outdoors with children provides the most magical memories. The nature table can provide us with a weekly purpose to get out and explore.
As the seasons change, different treasures will become available for you to collect. Of course, leaves are one of the most magical Autumn Treasures. Hues of reds, yellows, browns and golden shades. As soon as we collect them however, they start to fade. They dry out quickly inside our warm homes and loose their appeal. One way to preserve them, is to dip them in beeswax. It’s one of our favourite Autumn activities and truly signifies that Autumn is upon us.
It’s very easy to do. Our local farm shop sells blocks of beeswax, and you need to melt them in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Of course, this requires close adult supervision, but it’s such a wonderful activity. Dip the leaves into the melted beeswax, and lay them out on grease proof baking paper to dry.
Preserving them in this way enables the leaves to be added to a display, and they can be explored over the coming weeks.
Other treasures that can be used include conkers, beech nuts, acorns, dried physalis, walnuts, small squashes and gourds and we often use star anise to add a magical scent. This list is not exhaustive, there are many possibilities.
Grimm’s Celebration Ring
Central to our Nature table, you will find the Grimm’s Celebration Ring. It’s constantly evolving, but has become one of our most treasured family traditions. We’ve had it for many years now, and are constantly adding different pieces to it, to signify the many different celebrations that we’ve had over the years. I often get asked, “But what do you put on it?” Honestly, there’s no right or wrong way to use it. It will be unique to each family, reflecting what is important to you.
Ours generally starts with some of the treasures from nature being added to the centre. We then add a mix of Grimm’s Celebration Figures, Ambrosius fairies, Grapat Nins and Peepul. Adding a few new special pieces to the collection each year helps build many memories.
We really love seeing your nature displays in the Babipur Hangout and over on Instagram for the #babipurchallenge – It’s great to see each family’s unique displays, and they provide us with constant inspiration. For those of you that are not quite sure how to get started with seasonal display, I hope I’ve given you a little inspiration today. My advice is, just give it a go!
Shop Celebration Rings and Figures >>HERE<<
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Huge thanks to Hannah for sharing her love for her Autumn Nature Table and seasonal displays with us on the blog.
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