Although we aren’t following a completely Steiner/ Waldorf way of life at home, we definitely have a steiner influence. We approach it with the same attitude as we had with attachment parenting- nothing by the book, taking what works for us and our family and being instinctual with what the children need and respond well to.
One of my absolute favourite parts of Steiner education is the focus on the seasons and of course the Nature table/ seasonal display!
Our Nature display September – October 2014
Without realising, we were doing this anyway. My children are always bringing back items from outdoors into the house. I used to think it was a nuisance. Nobody likes rocks in their washing machine! But then I realised it was actually a good sign that they were in tune with nature. We started to collect the catkins, dry leaves, twigs, rocks and acorns in one place, the hearth of our unused electric fire.
We have our own style, not strictly steiner, but again we take inspiration from steiner displays. Some more than others.
Here is our late autumn display, less of a Waldorf feel to it, but autumnal without a doubt
The children love having the display there, often adding to it or taking bits out to play with, rearranging or using it as a starting point for talking about weather, seasonal celebrations or nature in general. They often refer to it in conversation when we are out or include it in art we make.
I find myself connecting with these displays as much as the children do. Changing the display at the start of the season is incredibly uplifting. For example, towards the end of autumn, I was feeling tired and cold. Hibernation mode! The autumn display didn’t feel right any more, it didn’t reflect what was happening outside and I felt detached from it in a way. Once we cleared it away to start on our early winter display, I felt better, excited for the coming season and all that it brings. It was exciting to know we’d change our display as the season went on, through Christmastime and the new year.
I intended to change our display yesterday, but unexpected snow showers made it feel inappropriate, so we kept winter for one more day. Today Pickle and I started on our spring display . This afternoon, the sun was shining, the snow was none existent and it felt like spring so we set about cleaning away the winter display. We opened the windows, let the cool breeze blow through and the sunlight warm the room, and started to talk about spring, sing about spring and gather items for our display.
We tend to make a display with temporary items and talk about what we will swap, change and add as the season goes on.
What do you think? I think spring is finally here!
Wooden Rainbow puzzle- Sainsbury’s
Book- Sleep Little Angel by Margaret Wise Brown, illustration by Stephen Gulbis
For inspiration you may enjoy this collection of Nature displays.