Have fun with these pine cone christmas tree fine motor activities using simple everyday items and painted cones! Easy peasy to set up and perfect for little hands to explore, twist, stretch and poke the materials through play, strengthening their tiny hand muscles as they do so!
I * think* Christmas themed play and learning activities are my absolute favourite and Christmas trees in particular are always fun to recreate in art and play set ups. There’s something so inviting about their shape and the possibilities for decorating them is endless! We have a very big archives of Christmas Tree Activities here in the archives to attest to this!
Painting pine cones with green acrylic paints makes the most gorgeous little natural Christmas trees ready for adding to loose parts play, small world set ups, and sensory baskets. We painted pine cones in a range of different shapes and sizes using two different shades of green paint and them left them to dry near a radiator so that they stayed warm (otherwise they start to close up again!) [Amazon affiliate links.]
Once completely dry we set them out with a range of other loose parts materials to create some invitations to decorate. Each of the materials lend themselves perfectly to developing fine motor skills while they play, as they need to use good dexterity and control as they grasp, place, poke in, pick out, stretch over or wrap around.
The first set up included some sparkly pom poms in big and small sizes. The small ones were easy to push into the spaces between the spikes but the larger ones needed more effort and trial and error. It was also harder to get the smaller ones out again and we introduced some kiddie tweezers for that to add another dimension to the challenge!
Incidentally, these look absolutely beautiful once decorated and can be glued to fix them in place in order to turn them into Christmas tree decorations too! We are going to make a bunch to sell on the craft stall at our school Christmas fair in a few weeks 🙂 Just add a loop if twine at the top and tie it tight so that they can be hung up.
The second set up involved some shiny bead strings cut to various different lengths. These also looked gorgeous when wrapped around the mini pine cone Christmas trees and would make lovely decorations!
It was trickier than the kids realised to keep the bead strings in place so that was a good challenge for their little fingers too!
The last set up involved colourful rubber bands in two sizes, big and little. The small bands were much tighter and difficult to stretch.
These were the most challenging to do as it required the children to stretch them over their fingers in order to open them wide enough to wrap around the cone. But a fantastic fine motor work out was involved and it’s great for those who are struggling with holding their pencil or weak pincer grip.
They ended up stretching and adding them in a variety of directions which looked really pretty, almost like a three-dimensional geoboard!
We have a cardboard christmas tree geoboard here too which is another fun fine motor game for Christmas!
You could simple present all of the materials at once on a tray in the fine motor/ funky fingers area of the classroom, or set them out on an invitation to play tray for preschoolers/ young school aged kids at home too.
Mixing all three materials together would also be lovely and add an extra dimension to play!
If you loved these pine cone christmas tree fine motor activities then please do share the post with friends on social media and Pinterest!
You may love all of these CHRISTMAS PLAY and CRAFT ACTIVITIES too, there are loads of ideas here!
I posted this brand new Christmas Tree pinch pot craft a few days ago and it’s so cute!
And these FINE MOTOR SKILLS IDEAS which are abundant in the archives too! We even have a collection of motor skills ideas for babies and toddlers here too.
[This post contains some Amazon affiliate links to help you find the products I use as easily as possible. Thanks!]