While I've always admired other people's nature tables and nature displays, I've never really been motivated to devote an entire surface to that purpose in our home. We have a small space with enough stuff as it is, and on top of that, I'm not sure the whole fancy display is really my thing.
I do, however, like the chicks to bring as much nature indoors as possible, so about a year ago, we started keeping a "nature bowl." In keeping with the natural aesthetic, it's a wooden bowl we bought from the Salvation Army. Whenever the chicks find something cool out in nature, we bring it home and they put it in the bowl. The occasional larger things, like Ninna's beloved huge piece of tree bark, go on a shelf somewhere, or, if it's a huge stick, it waits outside the front or back door.
I've been really happy with this. We keep the bowl on the dining room table, and the chicks frequently empty its contents during in-between times at the table.
Since I wanted to clean it out and remove the random detritus anyway, I set out the collection for all to see. Here it is, organized in a way that makes my organizer heart oh-so-happy:
And here are a few favorite pieces. The snail shell:
The perfect pine cone:
I do realize that it might be slightly gross to have the shell of a dead snail and germy bird feathers in a bowl on our kitchen table, but when I watch Bojey eat sand and pill bugs outside, I realize that these things are perfectly fitting at the table for our family.