Utilizing natural resources in play encourages your toddler to think outside of the box. Take a humble pinecone for example. A pinecone can be a little gift of nature, designed to sprinkle seeds that will grow to become the forest of tomorrow.
They can also be turned into a mouse, boat, bird feeder, and festive decoration.
Today, we used them as a tool to build some dexterity, bilateral coordination, and fine motor strength while making wool-wound pinecones.
Wool Wrapped Pine Cones
Pinecones are such a handy vessel for creativity. They are the perfect size for developing hands and hold a unique tactile quality. After collecting some from a local park, we decided to add some colourful wool to make wool wound pinecones.
What you need to make wool wrapped pine cones:
This is such a versatile activity. If you don’t have any wool, why not have a look at what you do have lurking in a cupboard? String, ribbon, shoelaces, and even some festive tinsel would all make wonderful alternative materials to complete this activity.
How to make wool wrapped pine cones activity:
There are a couple of techniques that can be used to wind the wool onto your pinecone. Perhaps your child will discover an entirely new way too!
Start by cutting a length of wool. Tie one end to the pinecone, securing it with a double knot.
Supporting the pinecone with one hand and the wool with the other, gently turn the pinecone. Trapping the wool between the rough seed scales is useful to hold the wool in place. Another technique would be to use two hands to spin the pinecone. Alternate between left hand and righthand with each spin. This is a great activity to practice bilateral coordination-that is using both sides of the brain to complete a shared task. Perhaps your toddler will create an entirely new way of decorating their pinecone –why not ask them what other ways they can think of wrapping their pinecone?
The pinecones look amazingly arranged as a centerpiece, displayed in a glass bowl on the sideboard or strung together to be turned into a mobile. Experiment with different textured wool, ribbons, or string and compare the process of each one. Was the wool easier to wind compared to the ribbon? Did the string grip to the sides of the pinecone better than tinsel?
Wool wound pinecones are super simple to set up, affordable, and brimming with developmental opportunities. Another engaging activity with the good old, humble pinecone to explore with your toddler!
SOME MORE FUN TODDLER ACTIVITY IDEAS YOU MIGHT ENJOY ARE:
About the Author
Dani is a busy stay-at-home Mum of 3 and an early childhood teacher in training who is passionate about play-based learning throughout early childhood. For educational play ideas that you can do at home and parenting tips visit Play Inspired Mum Check her out on Instagram andFacebook