::Play:: Once Upon a Table

September 21, 2011

For today’s post for Eat:Play:Learn we share a great post from Rhythm of The Home Archives by Chris.


Once Upon a Table

Storytelling is an amazing art form to bring into your home. As we experience the seasonal shift from the spring and summer months full of outside adventures to the fall and winter months of inside activities, a story table is a wonderful way to craft a focused area for storytelling.

I introduced a nature table into our family’s home when my sons were very little and it was a natural transition to create a story table as well. Unlike our nature table that has a primary focus on the changing season, our story table is just for storytelling. The stories may be inspired from existing stories from books, but more often an ever-evolving mixture of our own tales. It is a place in our home where we create stories and craft story props to accompany them.

A story table can easily be added into the rhythm of your home by allowing a time to connect, a time to create and let the magic of story crafting grow.

By incorporating stories with crafting, you are setting up a wonderful way for your child to both understand their place in the world and at the same time embrace the magic and creativity of their imagination. They are able to craft the stories with their ideas, words, and hands at once.

Suggested Tables

Wooden iron board (easily folds up and can be packed away)

Wooden crates

Thrifted table or a small dresser


There is no limitation to the size of your table. I suggest something that is stable and at a child’s level to interact with at their desire. A couple of floor pillows nearby are also a nice addition for comfortable listening and story time.

Suggested materials for storycrafting

Wooden figures and peg dolls

Found wood pieces to be turned into figures

Good supply of glue, wood pencils, felt, yarn, fabric scraps

Play silks in a variety of colors

Fun box to store different props


I suggest investing in a nice journal that can stay with the Story Table for you or your children to write down stories you create, ideas for stories, and pictures inspired by stories. You can find some beautiful journals in art supply stores that are even refillable so that you can keep making more and more stories. The journal is a beautiful part of the story table which helps to develop your bond with your child and preserve family memories.

Enjoy crafting good stories and hand crafts with your children and have a wonderful autumn season.

Here are a few projects which you can use to begin to develop your story table:

Secret Mushroom


Runaway Pancake

Thank you to the following toymakers featured in the photos: mamaroots, Momma Rae, Painting Pixie, ZooLoo Naturals and Ostheimer


Chris Willow is a mother, crafter, storyteller and toymaker. She enjoys creating roots with mothers and children in her community. Her inspiration has always grown from her world she shares with her husband and two sons in the beautiful Midwest. She has a store on Etsy and blogs at mamaroots where she has several free projects designed for Story Tables.

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victoria@recycled+revamped September 21, 2011 at 1:38 pm

love this idea!

Laura September 21, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Oh I just adore this idea. My children really get so much out of a visual story, when we use puppets and the like. This could be so much fun making this together. Thanks for the inspiration :-)

Becki September 23, 2011 at 11:37 am

I love this idea. As my daughters get older, I hope to do a nature table, and this story table idea will be great too!

kelly September 24, 2011 at 9:31 am

This is going to solve a problem we’ve had for a while! The nature table is played with but I’ve been worried about some special items being broken as they are too fragile for every day play. By setting up another area, I can make a distinction between playable and not – thank you.

Jen September 28, 2011 at 9:57 pm

What a great idea, but what I really want to say… LOVE the felted woodland piece with the turquoise stream. How nice! If I look back on your blog, are there directions to this pretty piece? Take care, Jen

Jen September 28, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Kelly – that is a great brainstorm on preserving delicate things, making them special. Brilliant ideas inspire more brilliant problem solvers, eh?
My own brainstorm — I’m thinking that my hands-on craft activity table at an upcoming Fall Festival might be a kind of ‘portable’ nature table, where families could start something at home, by having the children put fall things on a circle of cardboard (easy) or wood (hard) and take them home, as a starter. Every age child can assemble nuts and pine-cones and fall leaves, right? Cheers, Jen

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