Nature Tables and Setting Up the Environment
One of my most recent discoveries in setting up the environment is the popularity and joyfulness of a nature table. The Waldorf philosophy uses a nature table extensively in their programs. In other child care philosophies it is called the “nature tableau” or “science corner” as well as “seasonal invitation”. Any way you call is, it contains the same basic elements. It’s a special table or area where the seasons of the year are displayed through nature, fabrics and even handicrafts. The display is added to throughout the year by both the teachers and children and should be changed every seasonal change.
I give you examples of how I set up my nature table for:
- Summer; and
Consider what you would do for the fall season! Comment below if you'd like! ;)
The nature table serves two purposes:
- to function as an exploration of the season; and
- to aid in science related activities.
There are a couple of books to help you with the nature table or even make it a literacy project in addition to a science project. One of these books is The Nature Corner: Celebrating the Year's Cycle with Seasonal Tableaux.
You can find the links to these books, examples of nature tables and more when you read the full article.
Part One of the Series -- Setting up the Environment: bits and pieces on how to create interesting, exploratory, comfortable, beautiful places in your child care environment by Summer Langille, M.A.