Bring back the nature table

When I was growing up we always had a nature table in the classroom. We did not have show and tell, as such, but if we brought in a butterfly or a colourful rock or the prized bird's nest we were allowed to show the class and then place it on the nature table.
They seem to have gone out of fashion except in Waldorf education where they celebrate the seasons and the natural world.
Nature tables teach us a love of nature and also design. They teach us to think about how things grow and the cycle of life. They indirectly encourage children and families to go outdoors and look for offerings from their local area. (A US study found that young people could identify 1000 corporate logos but less than 10 plants or animals native to their backyard.)
Why not have a nature table where the items can be used in art works or in categorizing or counting or just playing with natural objects as was done in ancient times?


  1. Love the nature table and love your blog idea, in fact i blogged about the nature table here

  2. I ALWAYS have a nature table--sometimes two. right now we are comparing paper wasp nest with honey bee hive and we are collecting seeds and discussing how they travel. We cannot expect kids to care about the earth if they don't connect with the earth! I teach 4 yo pre-Ks.

    1. That sounds so great. i love to hear what others are doing and I do agree with you about teaching respect for the earth.