Exploring Pine Cones

Learning fun with pine cones

Learning is FUN! Here are some things you can do at home with pine cones to reinforce and duplicate the fun learning we do at school. These are simply starting points for you to expand upon and even create your own. Have fun and remember to let the children guide where this exploration takes you. (Activities should be age appropriately adjusted so that all ages infants to preschoolers can participate)

What you will need: Pine Cones

Start the fun with a hike, walk in the park or walk around the block. You can find pine cones just about anywhere. Even in sunny Woodland Hills.

  • Bring a bag or container to hold your findings.
  • Wear gloves if desired.
  • How many pine cones can you find?
  • What do they sound like when they drop?
  • Are they sticky? Heavy? Light? Compare and contrast as you gather.
  • Where do they come from?
  • Smell the trees. Touch the needles. Touch the bark…

Explore the pine cones at home.

Focus On:

Language Arts

What color are the pine cones?
How do they feel?

Math Skills

Count the pine cones.
Sort the pine cones.
What shape are the pine cones?
What size are the pine cones?


Pine Cones carry seeds. See if you can find the seeds. Plant the seeds in a pot & watch them grow. They come from plants called Conifers – because the plants have cones.


Roast Pine nuts (best to buy the nuts from the store). Simply take some raw nuts and heat them up in a pan with or without oil. They taste great with pasta or on a salad.

Squirrel Pine Cones

Simply take a pine cone and slather it with your favorite peanut butter then roll it in birdseed. Hang from a string on your tree. Squirrels go crazy for it. Birds like it too. Make lots of them to decorate your trees.

Art-Mini Tree

  • Take a pine cone and paint it green, white or whatever color or colors you want. Then decorate it with whatever you want; candy, beads, glitter, stickers, tiny ornaments…

Art-Pine Cone Painting

  • Place a piece of paper in a box with short sides. (A lid from a case of paper works best.) Place many different puddles of paint on the paper. Next place a pine cone in the box & start shaking the box.  Watch the pine cone roll through the paint, making a neat design on the paper.

 Gross Motor / Physical Education

  • Toss the pine cones in a basket. Get two baskets and play Pine Cone Basket Ball.
  • Pine Cone Hide and Go Seek – One person hides the pine cones and someone else tries to find them.
  • Balance a pine cone pointy side down on your hand.
  • Play catch with a non-prickly pine cone or wear gloves to catch prickly ones.


Pine Cone – Piñas
Pine Tree – Pino
Seed – semilla
Plant – Planta
Sticky – pegadizo
Needles – aguja

There are learning opportunities around every corner. Keep your eyes and ears open and you can help your child learn and explore every day.  Have Fun!


Jenni Rice - Owner & Director
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