Autumn Nature Table and Equinox Celebrations with Children

Introducing Autumn

Floss our daughter has just turned three. So how do I introduce the idea of a change in season to her? How does she know that Summer is fading and Autumn is rolling in?

For us it’s a gradual, natural transition shown through the subtle changes to our daily rhythm. Through the clothes we wear as we observe the changes in our outdoor environment and get outdoors. By the memories we make as we craft, cook and bake with the harvest of what nature has to offer. Through the seasonal stories, books and poetry we share together. Collecting treasures from the natural world for our nature table that stimulate and evoke play. Sharing magical experiences of seasonal celebrations that return year after year.

It’s this gentle repetition as we flow through the year, marked by special festivals and our daily connection with nature that help her to intrinsically know that there is a rhythm to the our world, an ebb and a flow.

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Nature Table

Also known as a seasonal table/ display is an area in your home that brings a sense of the outdoors, in and showcases the time of year. It reflects the natural world, indoors. I like to include books, pictures and props that Floss may like to use in play. These are often seasonal wooden animals, people and fairies that reflect the colouring of the season or plants that you would see at this time of year. Produce that you would find at this time of year. Think of it like a fruit bowl, it still gets eaten! An area that has the date that is changed daily together. Things that we have crafted and created together such as the lantern in the image at the top of the page and of course our nature treasures that we find as we discover the outdoors.

Autumn Story Telling

We are a family of bookworms. Floss adores stories, non-fictions texts, oral story telling and poetry. One of my favourite Autumnal stories is of how the apple got its beautiful star. It’s a wonderful story that I’d recommend learning off by heart so that you can orally tell the story. The story tells of a little apple sapling that wants to touch the stars and can’t reach. A star fairy see the sapling and asks why he’s so sad. The fairy promises to return with a star for the tree, but explains it might take a little time as they are far away. The apple tree continues to grow and when the fairy returns the tree is full of apples and there are no room for the stars. The fairy says she will put a star in each apple. Here’s a link to a more fuller version that I love.

At the end of the story you take an apple and cut it horizontally around the middle to reveal the star. It’s total magic. Then we eat the apple, or two or three! You can also use the apple star as a paint printer for crafty projects. Often they get made into apple and cinnamon muffins too.

Autumn Activities

Here are a few ideas for activities you could do following on from the story.

  • Nature journalling together. Floss decided she wanted to do the inside of the apple to show the star. We journal together at least once a week, usually after we’ve visited a local nature reserve. We each have our own journals and it’s a lovely time together either drawing and painting our finds. You can see more about journalling with children in my post here.
  • Letters and numbers are of real interest to floss right now too. I try to find resources that will link to the season and other activities and stories we are looking at. So for this activity we counted apples and stars. we also found the letter that the word apple and star starts with. Having a range of fonts and sizes of letters I find really helpful with a mixture of printed and handwritten. For older children you could find activities related to stars and apples at their level.
  • Dipping into a little science with the correct naming of parts of the apple was another activity we did. We used Montessori style three part cards for this. Children can learn and remember all the names of dinosaurs better that we can, so I’m never afraid to use technical language with Floss.
  • If you can try and visit and orchard at harvest time. One of our local farms has an orchard and on harvest day you can go and help and experience pressing your own apples.

Autumn Crafts

Love these little lanterns and they are so easy to make. You needs some crayons, watercolour paper/ cartridge paper, olive oil and some glue. Natural elements such as leaves are an optional extra.

Decorate your paper and then brush over olive oil, leaving to dry overnight. The olive oil helps to make the lantern translucent, We did some leaf rubbings for our lanterns and added some oak leaves. Glue your lantern together into a cylinder. I used pegs and something heavy to weight down the seam and again I left overnight.

This bit needs to be done by an adult. If using a real candle I would advise putting into a jam jar and them putting the lantern over a jar or you could use an led tea light/ candle. Keep lit lanterns out of reach of children.

This is one of the activities from Yes Bebe September Arts & Crafts Subscription box. If you’d like to find out more about Yes Bebe Arts and Crafts check out their Facebook groups here.

I’ve added a couple more lovely Autumn lantern ideas, with full instructions, that you might like to check out here.

Autumn Equinox

If you’re looking for something a little different to decorate your front door for the Equinox this is perfect. A lovely lady shared this idea in a Facebook group and I loved it. The Equinox is when the day and night are most equal and this happens twice a year – Spring and Autumn Equinox. I used Tiny Land waterproof paint onto a wood slice. A simple craft that you or your children could make and the perfect homemade gift.

Happy Autumn Equinox! Love Lisa and Floss 🙂

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Autumn Equinox - nature table - nature journalling - seasonal table - arts - crafts - waldorf inspired - rhythm

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