Now that I’m a mom, I see everyday objects in a different light. My hubby likes to playfully accuse me of being a hoarder, but I like to save things that would otherwise be discarded to use in fun activities for my kiddos. Free activities are the best ones, right?
I just finished up a rotation of nursing clinicals at a neighboring hospital, and they had piles of pine-cones littering the sidewalk as I’d leave each day. I thought they looked like miniature trees, so I grabbed a few of them on my way home.
To make them green I used some cheap green paint I had lying around. I mixed it with water (1:1 ratio) in an old ricotta cheese container, and have a lovely green paint wash.
Next I dipped each pine-cone into the paint until they were well coated. I laid them on a cookie tray, covered in wax paper, to dry.
They turned out lovely! I let them dry overnight so that they’d be ready for my little ones.
I wanted them to stand up, and I had some tops from baby food pouches I had saved over the years from my first and now my second. I used a hot glue gun to just glue them on the bottom.
Now to let the little ones at it. I provided them with sparkly pipe cleaners for garland and colorful pom poms for ornaments. I also had some star shaped stickers they could use for the top. My oldest tried to see how many decoration she could fit on one poor tree, haha.
I’ll be honest, many of my activities are geared towards my oldest who is 3.5 years old. My 14 month old seems to want to just destroy whatever we are working on, haha. But she actually loved this activity too! She pressed those little pom poms into the “tree” branches and waved them around so proudly of her accomplishment. It’s so much fun to see her evolve into an interactive little person.
I’ll say this activity was a huge huge win. Both my girls were entertained for at least 30 minutes and my oldest for the better part of an hour. My oldest even wanted to play with it again the next day, so I removed all the decorations and she decorated them again. I also love how other than the prep work, there is no mess involved except for maybe a rogue pom pom on the loose.
What a fun Holiday-themed activity that promotes creativity and fine motor skills! 🙂