Collecting pine cones on a nature walk is always a fun activity to do with the little ones, but what to use them for afterwards? Here's a good one for you: make a pine cone orange orchard! This idea is so simple yet with great results and fun for a variety of ages. And maybe they'll even take the time to make a popsicle stick shed for their orchard, and some little crates to fill up with oranges. That would be a good start to encourage creative activities rather than anything with batteries or that plugs into a wall, right? And of course if you want to get particularly crafty, how about making a plan to build an entire farm, or little town with all the usual amenities, just from simple supplies like these?
- pine cones, make sure they are dry and bug free
- kid friendly craft paint, preferably a few shade of green
- orange modeling clay or polymer clay (this is plastelina, modeling clay that does not harden much but is very inexpensive)
- high tack glue, or a glue gun used with parental supervision
- Wash pine cones and set aside to dry for at least a day to make sure any bugs that were within the pine cone will fall out.
- Paint pine cones in several shades of green for even nicer results than seen here
- Make a ton or little oranges, and make them proportionately on the big side as seen in photo for best visual impact
- Glue oranges to pine cone and fill up little bins
- That is it, now you have a fun orange orchard!
Want to continue with a popsicle stick shed? Keeping popsiscle stick length and depth in mind, make a shed shape from bristol or cereal box cardboard, and then glue popsicle sticks to the sides as seen in photo. Enjoy!
Note: If you are thinking "this is cute, but not really creative jewish mom style, well you are right! This was part of an exhibition that my 10 year old son's class did, more on that soon as I have some more sweet photos to share!