Have you ever explored a pinecone?
They are simple yet so fascinating! We’ve been having a lot of fun with pinecones lately and so I thought I’d share with you. We made pinecone turkeys and we even managed to throw in a bit of pinecone science too 😉
I love using nature as a classroom. There are so many things we’ve learned while exploring outside, and pinecones are just one more example.
Let’s start out with the science and then we’ll dive into some seasonal pinecone crafts!
First send your kiddos out to gather up the goods. Gather up feathers, leaves, and of course, pinecones! Gather up any else that your kids might like to craft with too.
Grab up your pinecones and start investigating! Did you know that pinecones are kind of like a seedpod for a pine tree? Talk with your kids about how the seeds are tucked safely inside the pinecone, an how the pinecone releases the seeds when their ready.
Our pinecones were already wet, but if yours are dry, soak them in a class of water, and have the kids check on it and watch as the pinecones close up.
You can explain how this is how the pinecone protects the seeds when it rains! Then let the pine cone dry out and watch it open up as it dries. You can then talk about how the pinecone will release the seeds when its completely dry and then the papery seeds will float away in the wind until they land in soil somewhere it will grow into a pine tree!
Once the science lesson is over, let the crafting begin!
To make a pinecone turkey all you do is lay the pinecone on it’s side, and glue in “tail feathers”. We have feathers in abundance – we are raising turkeys this year so the girls were able to use a few real turkey feathers too. But even if you don’t have feathers, you can use leaves just as well. One of my daughters used both leaves and feathers to create her turkey tail.
I used hot glue for this, because I’m impatient like that. I used the hot glue, and helped the girls put everything on where they wanted to, but you can use whatever glue you like 😉
Next I just quickly drew a basic turkey shape , cut it out, and then the girls glued that in on the top/front of the pinecone. And voila! A pinecone turkey is born!
This is also a great time to talk about turkeys, or birds in general. Talk about how they make eggs, the anatomy of an egg, how turkeys have a different digestive system, or talk about some of the history of turkeys. Pick and choose based on their interests 🙂
I hope you enjoy getting a little hands on with pinecones this Thanksgiving season! Share your turkey pinecones with us on Instagram!
Here are some extra resources for you to round out this craft project:
Lindsey is a modern homesteader and homeschooling Mama of two. Together with her family she lives in North Florida on 1/3 of an acre where they garden, raise chickens and turkeys, do lots of DIY, make a ton from scratch – and include natural learning experiences along the way. She’s passionate about simple, natural living, and shares those passions on her blog, Chickadee Homestead, or find her on Pinterest and Instagram.