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Pine Cone Christmas Tree Craft

Doing a Christmas tree is a preschool staple, and there are many different ways to create one. Instead of felt, paper, or paper plates, this time you will use pine cones. This will give you that three dimensional effect of a real tree, and allow your kiddos to explore a different material and texture than what they normally use during the rest of the year.

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Activity PDF

Pine cones are perfect as Christmas trees

Pine cones are perfect for Christmas crafts, as few things represent the season so well. Plus, they are affordable, easy to find, and even smell nice. What more could we ask for? 

This Christmas craft is fun for preschoolers because they will be able to customize their tree to fit their own personality, by choosing their favorite ornaments and how to place them. Also, using paint is fun and exciting, quickly transforming a simple pine cone into something else.

However, this activity is not for the faint of heart. Things will probably get a little messy, as with anything involving paint. If you wish to avoid this, paint their pine cones in advance, or go with a more natural look. Painting can be a ton of fun for kiddos, though, and they will love to do this themselves. As long as you use a washable paint, everything can be cleaned up later on.

But this craft is not only about fun, there’s always an important lesson to be learned. Besides refining their fine motor skills, kids will also exercise their social skills by sharing from a common poll of materials: paint, pompoms and star sequins.


For each tree you will need:

1 pine cone

1 clay pot

1 glitter pipe cleaner

Pom poms

Star sequins

Washable green paint

Paint brush


Learning Outcomes






Co-operating and sharing frequently


Step 1:

Guide the children to paint their pine cones using the green paint and the provided brush. You can propose different alternatives, such as painting the whole pine cone, or just the tips. If using a paint brush is too challenging for them, help them to dip the pine cones in the paint, or use finger paint instead. This is especially helpful for younger children.

Step 2 (Optional):

Allow the paint to dry for a few hours. Using wet paint will be helpful in sticking the ornaments to the pine cone, but it will also make the whole activity a bit messier. If you are looking for something tidy, let the pine cones dry first.

Step 3:

Invite the children to choose their favorite ornaments among the different colors of pompoms and star sequins. Asking them to choose among a common poll of ornaments will be helpful in learning how to share and compromise.

Step 4:

Have the kiddos place their ornaments on the pine cones. If the paint is still wet, this will be helpful in sticking the ornaments to the cone. They can also use white glue if the paint is not wet enough.

Step 5:

Curl the pipe cleaners and assist the kids in placing them around their little trees. They will probably need a lot of guidance on this step! 

Step 6:

As a final step, distribute the clay pots and ask the kiddos to place their pine cones on top of them. If you want the final result to be more stable, use pieces of double sided tape to attach the pine cone to the pot.

Playful Questions

Where should we start?

What color are the pompoms? What is your favorite one?

What is your favorite Christmas memory?

What is your favorite holiday?

What do you like the most about Christmas?