Sunday, 6 March 2011

Our Spring Nature Table: Just Who Is It For?

I am sure some of you will be able to identify with this.
We have changed our Nature Table for Spring.

Well, I say that "we" have..."we" tried and then Big Seed took over.
Well , I say "took over" but I mean he recreated the whole thing.

I asked him if he wanted to help me make the table but he did not want to.
So I made the table in a way that I thought was charming and neat.

Big Seed came along and had a tantrum and pulled the whole thing apart and became distraught.
He calmed down and then created the table by himself in a way that made sense to him.

At first, I felt as frustrated as he did ...but then I asked myself
"Just who is this table for in the first place?"
Do we try and make a nice table for the children and visitors to admire, so it fits in with the rest of the decor or feel of the house?
Or is it a learning experience to be shared or even owned by the children themselves?

In the end I was happy that it was so important to him and that he interacts with it.
It has become a playscene and an important place.

It's ok if all the animals are living in wooden houses together, and that the duck is not in the pond but in with the orange and white cow I cannot stand, along with the wooden ladybird back massager!
The empty pond is surrounded by a growing number of dead daisies he has picked for me.

It's OK because he is showing me that he feels it's important for animals to be together,
he doesn't like animals being alone, it's cold outside so they are in "houses" and the first daisies of the year are so important to him they have a place on the Special Table.

My Spring Table is for the belongs to them.

Your thoughts are you have a table?



  1. Oh my goodness...I laughed when I read this post, because this happens every time I set up our nature table!! Yes, I've had to remind myself that our nature table is for all of us, and leave my strange perfectionist tendencies...the ones that must have everything looking "just so" at the door.
    I'm sure many mamas can relate to this post!
    xo maureen

  2. I love this post. Sometimes it's hard when you set up something that you think is nice and the kids don't want to keep it that way. You're right though, they should be able to set it up like they want and own their learning environment. It's easier to accept something like this when it is really important to the children. It's better to have something that they interact with and learn from than to have a nice play table or area that they never use. I've included your post on my weekly favorites here:

  3. Chuckling! Our nature table is ever-changing, evolving in sometimes surprising ways. Just as the children themselves.

    A wonderful post. And Big Seed has set the table up beautifully, and made it his own. Such a meaningful gift that you have blessed him with -- a little world of his own.

  4. I think Big Seed did a lovely arrangement. My eldest looked over my shoulder and said how much she liked it.

    I have long since given up arranging our nature table. We always have one. I present things to be used, but at the end of the day, I leave it to them. It morphs throughout the season with no prompting from me. They love to spend time there and visitors also gravitate to it.

    When they were really young then they needed help, but like everything, they need less and less assistance as time goes by.


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