Christmas Cone Decorations

It was the last toddler group before Christmas this week. I thought the children could make decorations but I wanted a way of making them without being too prescriptive about it so the children still had an opportunity to use their imaginations and creativity.

What You Can Do With Cones
A few years ago Mum had given me a huge bag of large pine cones that she’d collected over the years to use in her flower arranging.

“Can you use these at all?” she asked.

“Can I just …” I thought.

Now in the past we made fluffy owls with them. We stuffed cotton wool in between the scales, then we stuck on some wiggly eyes and a beak. Really cute but very adult led and no creativity from the children.

Decorated Pine Cones
So this year, we simply decorated the pine cones. The children were given a selection of collage materials to choose from including:

Pom poms
Pipe cleaners
Glitter
Sequins
Gems
Feathers
Matchsticks

We had a lot of fun especially with the glitter. Some children just wanted to play with the glitter. It’s very soft to touch and they liked making little piles of it then spreading it about with their fingers.

One little girl used the pipe cleaners to add a beak, tail and wings to her cone. Now if she hadn’t told us this we wouldn’t have guessed. But in her mind that is what the pipe cleaners represented. She also gave it a name – Annie.

The delight with letting children make the decisions is that you never get two pieces of work the same even though they start off with all the same materials available.

Pine Cones and Slices of Wood Coming Soon
I’m excited to tell you that we have some great new items coming in the New Year which came to my attention too late to make it into the catalogue. We will have 40cm pine cones, slices of wood for some natural collage and some fantastic clays – silk and foam – which will be just the ticket for sensorial modelling. I can’t wait to use them with the children.

I’ve put a Pinterest Board together with loads of ideas for using pine cones. There are some great ideas from weaving with pine cones to printing with them.

Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. See you in 2015!

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