Sample Lesson

From the book: Living Kindergarten Autumn

Your Seasonal Garden

You can begin your autumn activities with a visit to your indoor seasonal garden, or nature table. A seasonal garden is essentially a “little altar” and a sacred space for child and family. This is where treasures are kept and seasonal changes are reflected. Like the ebb and flow of the tides, the coming and going of seasons can be honored around this simple centerpiece. It can be located in any appropriate spot—in your child’s room, part of the family room or dining room table. The seasonal garden is a kind of microcosm, or “little world” which beautifully reflects for the child the macrocosm, or “larger world.”

Keeping this symbolic garden clear, uncluttered, and beautiful enhances its impact and essence. A seasonal garden can include a candle, a special find from nature (such as a leaf, feather, shell, stone or flower), a lovely drawing or card, a piece of silk to adorn it all. You can vary the height and thereby accent certain pieces by using different sized and shaped boxes covered with silk or plain colored material. You may wish to hang a mobile above the garden.

For autumn, it can be especially suitable to create a cavern as if you are viewing it from underground. For this effect, create your seasonal garden in a covered crate or box, for instance. By keeping the opening clear, create inside an “underground” nature scene. To peer in at crystals and gnomes, roots and stones, and Mother Earth’s children is a magical experience for young and old alike.

As your garden expands and contracts with treasures, you will begin to actually feel the in-breathing and out-breathing pulse of each season. You will know when it’s time for a new season to appear when you find your current seasonal garden overflowing with all its keepsakes. The soul begins to welcome the transition to a new season and the experience of letting the old go and inviting in the new. As you’re changing and preparing for the new season’s arrival, you may wish to use this traditional tune from Germany to accompany your activities:


When you feel that the new seasonal garden is ready, mark the moment with a simple procession that winds its way roundabout your home, leading to the seasonal garden and sing: