Would you like to build a winter nature table for your children (or yourself)? Here are some simple instructions for pulling everything together to make a nice display. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. In fact, a lot of the items on the nature table I’m featuring here I already had in my home.
For the backdrop here I used a 21″ x 21″ blue playsilk. You could just as easily use a piece of dark blue fabric. The ground layer is a light blue pillowcase, and the structure is made from three wooden tree blocks with a large piece of bark set on top. I use this structure for most of my nature table setups, because it gives the critters and gnomes a place to live.
The trees I used here came from Michaels craft store and were painted with green acrylic craft paint by my three-year old. Things don’t have to be perfect, and the more the children can be involved, the better! The geodes and crystals are odds and ends that have been given to the kids over the years. You could use other stones, or just leave them out entirely, but I think the shiny crystals do a nice job of evoking the feeling of winter.
These little ceramic bunnies belong to my daughter (who graciously let me borrow them for our nature table). You could use felted, wooden, or even plastic animals, too. It’s just nice to have the animal element included in the display. Polar bears or woodland animals would be lovely.
The gnomes are my favorite part of any nature table. I’ve been working on learning how to make them over the past year. I’ve never used a pattern but just looked at gnomes made by others (Pinterest is great for this) and experimented. You can’t really mess them up! I make their clothes out of craft store felt, which is about 33 cents per sheet, and I paint their faces and hair with craft paint. The girl gnome has braids made of embroidery floss. I also did some very basic embroidery on their clothes to make them look special, and gave the boy a scarf. This was my first time including arms and hands, which are made with two small beads secured with glue to the ends of a piper cleaner.