Use these resources to make a seasonal nature table or nature discovery center that engages children in thinking, exploring and learning about spring.
How to make a spring nature table
A spring nature table
Do you have a nature table? They’re a wonderful way to bring nature into your home or classroom and encourage children to connect by investigating and responding to the treasures of the season.
Let’s get our nature tables ready for spring today.
Why we have a nature table
A nature table can have different purposes. Some people set one up as a kind of altar or shrine, to honour nature and our connection with the earth. Some families use their nature table as a focus for decoration, gathering together springtime crafts and art. Other people have them as a hands-on area where children are encouraged to explore and investigate the materials.
What kind of nature table would best suit your family?
Where to place your a nature table
Your table might be indoors, on the porch or in the garden. Sometimes it is an actual table, but a shelf, mantlepiece, or window ledge can all work well too. The most important thing, I think, is to place it where it will be noticed, appreciated, and used. There’s no point setting it up in an out-of-the-way corner, where it will be forgotten and gather dust.
For us, it works to have two nature spaces. One, often on the old school desk in our entrance hall or on the mantlepiece over the fire, acts as our decorative nature table. And then we have another, in the playroom or kitchen, which is more of a investigative nature table, which we use for art, science, and writing.
What to put on your nature table
You can work with your children on this because I bet they are skilled at finding nature treasures when you are out on your nature walks. Here are some ideas for things you can include:
:: nature finds for the seasons: feathers, shells, twigs, pebbles, leaves:: a pot of seasonal flowers: daffodils are perfect for spring, or some willow twigs
:: books – information and plant and animal ID books, poetry, and story books, all matching the season and the area where you live
:: art – your children’s drawings, posters of animals and plants, famous art work featuring the natural world. I think it’s such a treat to open up our ‘spring’ box and bring out all the previous years treasures that we made.
:: a calendar – to remind you where you are within the cycle of the year. We use the circular, nature-spotting calendar we made in the Winter Workshop
:: a microscope or magnifying glass – for closer inspections of your nature finds
:: art materials for sketching, watercolour paints, oil pastels, pencils
:: scissors, glue, and sticky tape for scrapbooking in your nature journals
:: toy / model animals
:: labels and vocabulary lists for key words
More spring learning resources
Download all the Spring units and printables
Download our complete Spring lesson plans, activities and printables and your spring teaching will be so easy!
:: five complete units of ebooks and printables for Nature Study, Welcome Spring, Daffodils, Seeds and Shoots, and Eggs and Birds
:: over 50 engaging activities and lesson plans that your children will love
:: over 30 pages of printables that make teaching so easy
:: a balanced programme of math, science, literacy, arts and crafts, nature study, sensory and imaginative play
:: a practical resource that you can start using today, in class or at home
:: weeks worth of learning all planned for you, to take you right through the season
:: created with children aged 4 to 8 in mind
You're going to love this super useful resource!