Friday, April 3, 2015

Seasonal "nature" display

There's something from german Waldorf upbringing and educational concept I'd like start with to explain what we've been recently doing - „Jahreszeitentisch“. 

That means seasonal tables – creating of scenes following the seasons. That's about making walks with kids, looking around and watching what is happening in nature in each season, getting focus on what is particular, what is intrinsic/usual/interesting throughout the year, month for month, season for season. Than you try to re-create some of the ambiance at home captured with what you find in nature. There are some enlargements possible, you can replicate small scaled animals, human figures etc.

It's all about observing and learning what is happening outside, and crafting with kids. Normally you should find a small corner/table in your place to build the scene with those seasonal elements/materials.

We have not a table for this, maybe later, but not now. For now we've played around to create a small display – that's about end of the winter – clear sky, lots of warm greys, some brownish green (moss), straw. We haven't seen animals, but we might make another „display“ with them another time.

This display is not that deep, but that's okay for now.

The colors are very low-key, except of bright sky, that's the most beautiful feature of this mid-season. There're lots of graphically interesting elements – which are normally snow covered or melted into foliage – and then they all pop up under soon-to-be-spring sun.

That's fascinating and making our walks more interesting and less monotonous. We've added a little human figure there - a wooden bead, a piece of a branch and straw arms. This tiny creature (appr. 5 cm height) got a "stool", and is not fixed, we can get him out of scene and play with. My little girl has painted his face and hair. And a straw star, since that's abundant right now and gives a very beautiful golden ocher in the sun.

SIDE NOTE: that's kind of a project which is fun if there's total freedome for everybody to try out different ideas and where's no adult art-direction, or as little as possible. For me that was the hard part - to step aside and just try to stay playful and open, and not to force something that would be aesthetically pleasing (hence graphical and minimalistic) for me. My little girl has added this and that, and reinforced somewhere in-between, so we got more mass and thicket,  It's been fun for her to create "a forest"and she was very happy with what we did. Keep in mind to stay open!

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