Who knew that nature could get so crafty? Show your kid how to collect and morph pine cones into a whole team of personalized pine cone people. He'll use craft materials such as pipe cleaners, yarn, and paint to personalize his pint-sized, plant-like friends. This project will inspire the nature investigator in him, while also prompting size, color, and shape comparison. For an extra lesson in self-awareness, encourage him to complete a mini pinecone of the self-portrait variety.
What You Do:
- Embark on a pinecone-collecting adventure. Accompany your child outdoors to find pinecones in a variety of shapes and sizes. Ask him to compare the sizes to the members of your family. For example, the tall pinecone might be Dad's and the very smallest might be used for her baby brother.
- Once he's gathered all of the pinecones, help him bend a pipe cleaner around the back, weaving it in between sections of the pinecone for stability. Leave the two sides of the pipe cleaner sticking out as arms.
- Ask her to glue down the wiggly eyes on the front of the pinecone.
- Help her add hair with cut yarn and glue, using a variety of colors for a fun touch.
- Assist her in dressing the pine cones in their finest attire. She can cut scraps of fabric and glue them to the pine cone, or use tempera paints to paint on an outfit. Try wrapping the fabric all the way around the pinecone. This will cover up the pipe cleaner on the back that is connecting the arms.
These small nature sculptures can be as creative as your child wants to get! Try additional materials such as craft fur, pom poms, or feathers for some extra special embellishments.
Erica Loop has a MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education. She has many years of teaching experience working in early childhood education, and as an arts educator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.