I have a very tight schedule for the holiday season, each day is filled with a craft that can either decorate the house, become a present or a card, cookie making and fun filled experiences. While we were cutting down our Christmas tree this weekend at Hardeburgh Farm in Ulster Park (15 minutes drive from the Kingston Polar Express) my children were enamored by these medium sized pine cones. As my husband quickly chopped down the tree the three of us collected as many pine cones as we could.
On the way home my daughter kept talking about the project we were going to do with them! She didn’t know what, but she knew she wanted to create something out of them. This is where I had to pause and focus on what would be the best learning experience for my children, the pre determined projects I had planned out or the pine cone creation we would figure out together. Through the eyes of our children a project derived from their mind is SO much more meaningful than one which has already been set up for them. Many times these projects are a bit more messy, the project is more of an open ended inquiry than a set activity, but my children are always MUCH more invested in the project. It becomes a part of their lives instead of just a moment in their day.
Before beginning our inquiry I waited a day with the pine cones sitting out on our counter. This gave us both some time to think about the project. My daughter kept asking when we were going to do the project and I thought about what form it would take. She wanted to use them as decorations so I decided a garland would be the way to go, however there are many different uses for pine cones.
Pine Cone Garland Instructions
This project requires two sessions and drying time for the paint in between.
Decorative yarn or thin ribbon
Sparkle glue and/or paint ( I always use washable)
Work space and drying space
1. Have children paint and use sparkle glue on the pine cones.
2. Allow pine cones to dry.
3. Leaving a bit of yarn for hanging, weave yarn through the thickest part of the pine cone (my daughter loved helping with this part)
4. Decorate your house with your newly made garland!
Written by Nicole Rowley