My Dining Room Table

Welcome to the September 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Home Tour

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have opened up their doors and given us a photo-rich glimpse into how they arrange their living spaces.



My dining room table is one of my favorite places in our home.  Although, I have to take into account that it is not an island – it is surrounded by the fabulousness of our hutch, school cabinet, chalkboard, and kitchen!  And since these are all things that we utilize the majority of the time we are awake, the dining room table just sort of becomes our landing spot.

20140902_115956To start with, I suppose I should point out that the table belonged to Micah’s grandparents, and we inherited it when we moved into the first house we owned.  It, along with the matching hutch, brought a beautiful sparkle to our dining room.  We eat all of our meals together, and most of them happen at the dining room table.  We do a lot of our schooling at the table, because it is a good place to gather and work.  Also, my kids spend hours every day drawing and crafting at the table.  Yes, the dining room table tends to be the center of our day.

But, while the table certainly makes a lovely landing spot for food, crafts, and conversation, it isn’t just because of this that we all gravitate to the dining room.


Our school cabinet brings the kids to the table many times each day.  I have worked hard this summer to get it organized into bins and containers to make it easy to find everyone’s things.

In this picture, you can see our sorter.  It helps to keep handy the things that we use often.  The plastic flower pots make it easy to grab the kids’ scissors, pencils, pens and colored pencils.  Crayons and duct tape are handy at the sides of this cabinet.  My sharpies and special supplies are on the top of the top shelf, where they won’t be so tempting to little hands.  The other bins hold stickers, chalk, glitter glue, decorations (googly eyes, ribbons, etc), and index cards.



This cabinet contains the less used items.  On the top shelf is a box of glitter, our dry erase board spray, math manipulatives, my chalk, foam shapes foam letters, ABC beads, ABC stamps, ABC stickers, ABC stencils, bottle caps which I’m going to put dot stickers on top of and add a letter to each sticker so that they can be used to build words, and small chalkboards.

The bottom shelf of this cabinet contains (behind the partition), chalk pastels, oil pastels, and twist up colored pencils.  In sight are dry erase markers, “tools” (like hole punches, compass, etc), fancy scissors, markers, stamps, “fasteners” (staplers and staples, paper clips, binder clips, etc), erasers, glue, counting popsicle sticks, counting acorns, counting buttons and counting cubes.

The kids love to get into the math and letter manipulatives.  They love building words with the letter things.  They love using the counting manipulatives to figure out math problems.  It is just an all around, fun cabinet!




On the buffet part of the hutch is the printer, the paper, the sticker sheets, and the laminator pouches.

On the other end of the buffet is the nature table. We have several items we have collected from various places to fill it.  In theory, this gets changed seasonally.

20140902_120401Above the hutch is a paper stacker with watercolors, notepads, tracing paper, grid paper, our light table, my laminator, more stencils, and a few other random items.  There is also our microscope slide kit, a magazine sorter full of construction paper, envelopes, maps, and Montessori math beads.

Altogether, we refer to the hutch as “The School Cabinet”.  The other large cabinet, we refer to as “The Craft Cabinet”.

20140902_120435The top of the craft cabinet has aspirations of being as organized as the school cabinet someday.  For now, it is all manner of general crafting supplies, loosely sorted into bins or just set in the cabinet.  On top of the cabinet is our special paper supply (scrapbook, tissue, wrapping paper scraps), and a paper box full of craft paint and our smocks.
20140902_120444In the center shelf of the craft cabinet is a new area.  There are a few organizers that contain school supplies for the kids.  In the long organizer there is a section each for Sofi, Walter and Elliott which contain skill appropriate workbooks, worksheets, sketchbooks, lined dry erase boards, and folders for organizing work.  The next box contains textbooks that were gifted to us and are there for the children to peruse if they want.  The next box contains workbooks of the same genre and Sofi’s local bird identification binder.  The bottom of the craft cabinet is stuffed full of fabric which I refuse to show here.

20140902_120151The other side of the room has our chalkboard.  We use it over and over throughout the day – to break down tricky reading words into smaller parts, to write up lists, or to figure out how many pieces are in our new fractions set!  Our daily board is also there.  We also hang posters and other sheets on this wall for reference a lot of the time.  Right now, we have the Pledge of Allegiance and the 4H Pledge above with letter blend sounds below.

20140902_120141And very last, this rack holds aprons and bibs for keeping little clothes clean at meal times.  Big people aprons hang beside.  Above the rack hang 2 tiles that we made when Sofi and Walter were still preschool age.  The leaves were rolled into air dry clay and then peeled off, leaving their impression.  Just this year, I watercolored the leaves and made them stand out.

Wow!  There is so much to see and do in our dining room!  No wonder the table is always piled and there is always someone there!


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon September 9 with all the carnival links.)

  • Being Barlow Home Tour — Follow along as Jessica at Being Barlow gives you the tour of her family’s home.
  • A Tour Of My Hybrid Rasta Kitchen — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama takes you on a tour of her kitchen complete with a Kombucha Corner, a large turtle, her tea stash, and of course, all her must-have kitchen gadgets. Check out Hybrid Rasta Mama’s most favorite space!
  • Dreaming of a Sisters Room — Bianca, The Pierogie Mama, dreams, schemes and pins ideas for when her younger daughter is ready to move out of the family bed and share a room with her older sister.
  • Building a life — Constructing a dream — Survivor at Surviving Mexico-Adventures and Disasters shows you a glimpse inside the home her family built and talks about adaptions they made in constructing their lives in Mexico.
  • Why I’m Sleeping in the Dining Room — Becca at The Earthling’s Handbook welcomed a new baby but didn’t have a spare bedroom. She explains how her family rearranged the house to create Lydia’s nursing nest and changed room in spaces they already had.
  • The Gratitude Tour — Inspired by Momastry’s recent “home tour,” That Mama Gretchen is highlighting imperfect snapshots of things she’s thankful for around her home. Don’t plan to pin anything!
  • Our Home in the Forest — Tara from Up the Dempster gives you a peek into life lived off-grid in Canada’s Yukon Territory.
  • natural bedding for kids — Emma at Your Fonder Heart shows you how her family of 3 (soon to be 4) manages to keep their two cotton & wool beds clean and dry (plus a little on the end of cosleeping — for now).
  • I love our home — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings explains how lucky she feels to have the home she does, and why she strives so hard to keep it tidy.
  • Not-So-Extreme Makeover: Sunshine and Rainbows Edition — Dionna at Code Name: Mama was tired of her dark, outdated house, so she brightened it up and added some color.
  • Our little outdoor space — Tat at Mum in search invites you to visit her balcony, where her children make friends with wildlife.
  • Our Funky, Bright, Eclectic, Montessori Home — Rachel at Bread and Roses shows you her family’s newly renovated home and how it’s set up with Montessori principles in mind for her 15-month-old to have independence.
  • Beach cottage in progress — Ever tried to turn a 1980s condo into a 1920s beach bungalow? Lauren at Hobo Mama is giving it a try!
  • Conjuring home: intention in renovation — Jessica at Crunchy-Chewy Mama explains why she and her husband took on a huge renovation with two little kids and shares the downsides and the ups, too.
  • Learning At Home — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling helps us to re-imagine the ordinary spaces of our homes to ignite natural learning.
  • My Dining Room Table — Kellie at Our Mindful Life loves her dining room table — and everything surrounding it!
  • Sight words and life lessons — The room that seemed to fit the least in Laura from Pug in the Kitchen‘s life is now host to her family’s homeschool adventures and a room they couldn’t imagine life without!
  • A Tour of Our Church — Garry at Postilius invites you virtually visit him in the 19th-century, one-room church where he lives with his spouse and two kids.
  • Preparing a Montessori Baby-Toddler Space at Home — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares the Montessori baby-toddler space she’s created in the main living area of her home along with a variety of resources for creating a Montessori-friendly home.
  • The Old Bailey House — Come peek through the window of The Old Bailey House where Erica at ChildOrganics resides with her little ones.
  • My New House Not-Monday: The Stairs — Claire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl shows you her new laminate stairs in her not-so-new-anymore house.
  • To Minimalist and Back Again — Jorje of Momma Jorje shares how she went to the extreme as a minimalist and bounced right back. Read how she finds it difficult to maintain the minimalist lifestyle when upsizing living space.
  • Our Life As Modern-Day Nomads — This family of five lives in 194 square feet of space — with the whole of North America as a back yard. Paige of Our Road Less Traveled guest posts at Natural Parents Network.


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