Today I want to talk to you about something that might seem a bit “off the wall” (Sorry- that’s my attempt at a pun). I want to share with you the benefits of using nature to decorate your learning space.
You may have heard me talk about bringing light into a space, using natural parts in play, and incorporating plant life into playrooms, classrooms, and learning environments. But when I look at photos of most learning spaces (homes and classrooms alike), so much of what my eye is drawn to is the blank wall space. See, when you have a room filled with short objects for small people, that tends to leave a lot of empty walls, which our gut reaction typically has us cover with generic wall art or just leave blank. This can leave a space feeling pretty blah and impersonal to your child.
BUT, by using natural elements, we can fill those gaps and create a welcoming, organic feel to the room!
UTILIZING NATURAL ELEMENTS FOR DECOR
This is going to require you to look specifically at your space and determine where you have gaps that can be filled nicely with natural elements.
Think big (can you suspend a fallen tree branch from the ceiling?)
Think small (have a space on your shelf that is just the perfect place for a starfish?)
Think seasonal (would a trio of different sized pumpkins make a great decoration for an empty corner?)
Here are a few of my favorite ways to spruce up a space with natural elements:
- Simple branches – Small or large, branches make an amazing addition to a space. Hang them from the ceiling and let your child decorate it periodically by hanging art pieces from it. Use them in place of a rod on the wall to hang musical instruments. Place small, uniquely shaped branches on shelves as trinkets. Wrap them in twinkle lights and stand them up in a pot as a way to brighten up a dark corner. Possibilities are ENDLESS!
- Small parts – We’ve talked about small parts as play pieces and the challenge that the storage of them presents. Make your problem a solution and use the parts as decor! When you rotate out some of the loose parts for something else, place them in large glass jars and store them on shelves where they can create a pretty effect when not in use!
- Agates/Pretty rocks – Depending on where you live, you may be able to find agates out in nature, but they can also be found pretty inexpensively in stores. These make great, beautiful additions to a learning space and they always delight children!
- Terrariums – This sort of goes along with adding plant life, but it’s not typically something we think of when incorporating plants, so I put it here. Let your child help you build a terrarium or two in glass jars/ containers to decorate your space. A word of caution: These. Are. Addictive! Once you and your child work together to make one, you may quickly find yourself being forced to give them away as gifts to your neighbors because you have nowhere else to put them! 🙂
- Personal Natural Art – Whether it’s your child’s drawing of a sunflower, framed pressed flowers, or pictures you took on a nature walk, find ways to incorporate personal nature art into your wall space. This is an excellent way to help your child connect with the space as they will attribute a memory to the artwork!
A final note: remember… back to the basics, in that we’re trying to keep the space simple and uncluttered as well. The goal is not to overwhelm the space, but to add touches that create an organic feeling of nature and welcoming to your child.
Take a look around your learning space and find those empty spaces and/or the ones that are decorated in a rather bland sort of way. Where can you add natural elements to liven up the blank walls? Are there some shelves that could be spruced up with some special rocks or unique seashells? Think outside the box and have fun! Include your children in this process too, as that makes it all the more meaningful for them.
If you’d like to learn some even more incredible ways to transform your child’s room into a natural learning environment, please join us for this FREE Nature Hack Challenge December 12-16. We’ll be covering all kinds of topics just like this, with daily trainings, a private group for accountability, and daily actionable steps to make transformations in just 15-20 minutes a day. You can join up here and get an extra awesome bonus when you do: CLICK HERE TO JOIN.