I've been inspired (thanks Gina) to talk about our season table and how we use it, because frankly I'm just loving the Summer incarnation of it with the hot pink playsilk and all kinds of pretty projects.
We started a season table over a year ago and to start with we just had a little coffee table in the kitchen with bits that Jenna had collected and occasional seasonal crafts that she had done. Then we got some ideas from Waldorf schools and other homeschoolers, and started putting a cloth on the table first in a colour to best create the mood of that time of year, and of course we started being able to do more detailed projects as Jenna got older.
The playsilks I bought cheaply from a haberdashery supplier online, http://www.rainbowsilks.co.uk I think, just as plain headscarves that they were selling for batik. Some cold water dyes and a bucket, and the girls had several bright playsilks in their Christmas box and I had four for my season table. Green for Spring, pink for Summer, orange for Autumn and blue for Winter.
At the Spring solstice this year we added a wooden sun (from Myriad toys) and we'll put it away again at the Autumn solstice. We often have a twig hung with leaves or flowers or easter eggs etc - and sometimes we have a red metal "tree" instead (or as well) which was a £1 find in Ikea last year. At the moment there are some feathers, some dried poppies and buttercups that Jenna picked from the garden and dried out on the fireplace before I could put them in a vase.
One of the magic water lilies found its way on, a playdoh plaque spent most of the spring time there depicting "rain" - I think it's behind the sun at the moment though! The elephant is one of our fairtrade clips from Oxfam that hold up playsilk tents. Jenna put it there after some tent-building one day and it hasn't been used since. Morgan added a nectarine stone. There was a seedling there a few weeks ago but now that has been planted outside and is doing really well - there should be a sunflower flowering out there soon!
The sunflowers were a gift from my mum two days before the summer solstice, and the day she bought them I read that they are traditionally brought inside for midsummer's day. Always learning... Anyway, on the season table the last one went.
It doesn't need to be a big space, as I prove with my tiny offering. Nor does it have to be really elaborate or take up much time. I help myself by not being too obsessive about the children adding things to it, removing things from it, and generally playing with it - though I ask them to put things back after they're done lol. Morgan doesn't really understand and likes to put maybe a comb on there or an empty packet or something, so I tactfully move that kind of addition to a little basket of Morgan's "treasures" underneath the table. Again, another adapted Gina idea.