Pine Cone Christmas Tree

Pinecone Christmas tree

Today, I have a pine cone Christmas tree that was a big hit with my kids, but also a fine motor powerhouse. The pinecone ornament was a fun way to craft but the miniature Christmas tree craft helps kids with precision, pincer grasp, in-hand manipulation, and more. We made this Pine Cone Christmas Tree years ago, but it’s still a favorite ornament my kids love to pull out each year and hang on the tree! 

Here are more Christmas crafts that help kids build fine motor skills.

Cute Pine Cone Christmas tree craft that helps kids develop fine motor skills.

Pine Cone Christmas Tree Ornament

We love to take hikes in the neighborhood and woods to collect pine cones and always have a few around that are ready for fun projects and crafts.  Our pine cone Christmas Tree was fun for painting and even fine motor skills.  Pressing all of the little pieces into the pine cone was a great way to work the small muscles of the kid’s hands during a Christmas craft!  Our little pine cone Christmas tree is nestled in the branches of our tree looking pretty cute!    

Check out these Christmas Fine Motor Activities for more creative ways to work on fine motor skills and address development of skills this Christmas season.   

Pine cone Christmas tree craft for kids
Pine

Pine Cone Christmas craft

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We started with some pine cones that we painted a nice green color.  You might have seen the action on our Instagram feed.  Once our pine cones were dry, we started decorating.  For this craft, we used a little red cord and crafting pom poms
in different sizes.  

Pine cone Christmas tree craft and ornament. Great for fine motor skills.

  The decorating part was great for fine motor work.  We used a little glue to glue on the yellow pom pom to the top of the pine cone tree.  Little Guy liked pushing the small pom poms into the pine cone.  We didn’t need any glue to make them stick…just a little finger muscle!  Pushing those little pom poms into the pine cone was a great way to work on tripod grasp while holding the pom poms and making them stick in the pine cone.  

Pine cone Christmas tree craft kids can make

We loaded that pine cone up with little white pom poms!

Pine cone Christmas tree ornament

To finish the decorations, all we needed was a little of the red cord to make it all come together!  We didn’t use glue for the cord either.  Just winding it around the pine cone was enough to make it stick and stay in place.  This was another fine motor dexterity task for Little Guy.  He was pretty pleased with the way his pine cone turned out!

Pine Cone Christmas tree is a pinecone ornament kids can make
Christmas modified paper for holiday handwriting for kids

SALE! Save 25% on Modified Christmas Paper NOW THROUGH CYBER MONDAY.

Coupon code is HOLIDAY25

Use the Christmas modified paper handwriting pack to work on handwriting, letter size, letter formation, and legibility with meaningful and motivating activities:

  • Letters to Santa
  • Wish List
  • Holiday To-Do List
  • Shopping List
  • Thank You Notes
  • Recipe Sharing
  • Winter Writing Prompts

Click here to get your packet.

More Christmas Crafts

Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

Gross Motor Mindfulness Activities

Gross motor mindfulness activities for children

These gross motor mindfulness activities combine several sensory systems to improve mindfulness in kids. There are many reasons to add mindfulness activities to learning in the classroom or at home. Some of those benefits of mindfulness include improved attention and focus, emotional regulation, cognitive functioning, self awareness, and  listening skills. There are many other additional benefits of mindfulness, too. When we add gross motor movements and whole body movements to mindfulness activities with intention, resistive input through the proprioceptive system adds calming input. Likewise, movement in different planes adds calming or alerting input. 

Gross motor mindfulness activities for kids

These whole body mindfulness tasks can be included in brain breaks or within learning activities. 

Gross motor Mindfulness Activities

Using mindfulness along with whole body movements can be a good way to help kids re-center themselves so that they can focus inwardly and be more aware of  what’s happening in their body as well as the outward behaviors or actions that are happening in their environment in the classroom or home. 

Reach and Breath- Kids can stand as tall as they can. They should start with both hands down at their sides. As they slowly reach up, they can take a deep breath in. When both hands touch above their head, they should pause and hold their breath for a moment. Then, they can slowly lower their hands to their sides as they breath out a long, slow breath. Raising their arms with their breathing encourages movement of the shoulder girdle and increases the capacity for breathing in. What while lowering their arms pushes out more air to encourage for expulsion of air from the lungs.

Arm long breathing-This technique encourages use of the full lungs when breathing in and breathing out to expel all of the air in the lungs. Starting with the hand at the opposite shoulder, the child should slowly breathe in as they move their hand down their outstretched arm. When their hand reaches their other hand, they should pause for a moment, and then slowly start to move their hand back to the shoulder as they breathe out. 

Yoga breaths- Encourage deep breathing and full body motions such as warrior or downward dog.

Starfish Breaths- For this whole body movement and deep breathing activity, children can imagine their hand is a starfish. As they take a deep breath in and out, they can slowly open and close their hand so all fingers are extended and then pulled into a fist. At the same time, they can raise their hand up over their head as they breath in and down to the ground as they breathe out.

Bend and stretch breathing– Students should reach both arms up overhead. As they bend forward at the hips, they can slowly breathe out through their mouth and reach down to touch their toe with their opposite hand. Students should then raise up at the hip with at the hips and reach their arm back overhead as they breathe in through their nose. Make this a group gross motor activity with a few adjustments.

Watch the Target- Using a target that is paired with deep breathing and slow, gentle motions can be a gross motor mindfulness activity that allows kids to become aware of their body’s movements as well as the world around them. Make a DIY streamer like we did in the past using a dowel rod and ribbons. Party streamers taped to an unsharpened pencil would work for this activity too. Kids can hold the streamer with their arm extended and move slowly as they take deep breaths in through their nose and out through their mouth. Try to pair upward motions with deep breaths in and downward motions with deep breaths out. 

Each of these gross motor activities can be used to improve mindfulness and kids in the classroom or in home. 

Gross motor activities to develop mindfulness

More mindfulness activities

Be sure to grab these deep breathing and gross motor activities. When possible, combine the deep breathing and mindful awareness to movement and whole-body activities to create a centering activity.

Free pumpkin deep breathing activity

Free spider web mindfulness activity

Free clover deep breathing activity

Free Thanksgiving mindfulness activity

Free Christmas mindfulness activity

Free Football mindfulness worksheet

Dinosaur gross motor activity

Heavy work movement activities

heavy work movement activity cards
Heavy Work Movement Cards- special deal!

Use these heavy work cards to help with building body awareness, motor planning abilities, proprioceptive input, or a movement activity as a brain break to pay attention between learning activities.

In the set of cards, you’ll find heavy work activities in the following themes:

1. Trucks Heavy Work Activities

2. Insects Heavy Work Activities

3. Sea Animals Heavy Work Activities

4. Farm Animals Heavy Work Activities

5. Jungle Animals Heavy Work Activities

6. Woodland Animals Heavy Work Activities

7. Superheros Heavy Work Activities

8. Sports Heavy Work Activities

9. Monsters Heavy Work Activities

10. Summer Heavy Work Activities

11. Butterfly Life Cycle Heavy Work Activities

Each activity page includes 8 movement and heavy work cards in that theme.

These heavy work activities can be added to home programs, teletherapy activity plans, or used as brain breaks during learning and play.

Click here for the Heavy Work Movement Activities

Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.