Make a nature table

Nature tables provide a great way of displaying any items that you find while you’re outside. It gives you a chance to sort the items into categories, practising identification and recognition of key features. They can be displayed at home or school, on a covered surface, or you can use a big sheet of paper to mark out different categories of finds. Alternatively, you could use a tree stump or a grassy area, and make your nature table while you’re still outside.

As well as being a great creative and practical activity, this one is great for getting you talking! You can explain to other people why you’ve put the objects where you have, why you’ve chosen those categories, and most importantly what your items are and the story behind you finding them.

A nature table can last for as long as you like – once you’ve started one, you might never stop!


© Catherine Leatherland

What you will need:

  • Access to a safe green space (this could be woodland, school grounds, or a garden)
  • Paper (optional)
  • Pens (optional)

How to make your nature table:

  1. Go on a walk and collect the natural items that you would like to use for the display (e.g pine cones, sticks, leaves, fallen petals, feathers).
  2. Remember not to pick anything that’s still living – including petals and leaves from living plants.
  3. Take your items and display them in a way that best suits you – either outside, or on a table or piece of paper inside.
  4. If you have used paper, you can add labels to your finds using pens.
  5. Take the chance to really show your display – you could show it to friends and family using video chat. Talk through the items and explain how you found them.
  6. When you are finished, try to put your finds back where you found them – everything in nature has its place, even if it’s no longer living.
  7. Put the items into a bag and empty them out where you found them.


Let us know what you find using #DiscoverLearnPlay


Time to complete

Up to an hour

Suitable for age

Suitable location

Curriculum linked

Expressive arts (Art and design)

Health and Wellbeing

Sciences (Planet Earth)

Languages (Literacy and English – listening and talking)



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