Pine Cone Trail Outdoor Activity for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Toddlers and preschoolers love playing follow the leader, or follow the trail. Outdoor trails are often made with footprints in the sand, or boot prints in the snow. You can easily make a trail with pine cones in the backyard to provide a fun outdoor game for toddlers and preschoolers. 

Outdoor activity with pine cones for kids

This post contains affiliate links.

We are fortunate to have a large pine tree in our yard. Every spring there is an abundance of pine cones on the ground that are fun to collect for crafts and activities. Creating a long trail for kids to follow is one way to have fun with pine cones.

If you don't have pine cones available in nature, you can purchase pine cones online, or find them in a department store or craft store.



Create a pine cone trail

pine cone trail activity


Spread a number of pine cones on the lawn in a long winding trail. Go around trees or bushes or other props in the yard.

Place a bucket or sand pail at the end of the trail. We ended our trail with a red beach pail and shovel under an apple tree in the yard.

After creating the trail, go back to the beginning and follow the pine cone trail!

When you reach the end of the trail, grab the pail and retrace your steps! Walk back along the trail, collecting pine cones in your pail as you go.

To extend the activity try using the sand shovel, or even tongs, to pick up the pine cones. Is it easier to pick them up with your hands?

Use pine cones in crafts and activities

Note: We have a post on our Pine Cones Pinterest board that tells how to clean natural pine cones for crafts and activities.

Math games
: count the pine cones; weigh pine cones; sort by size

Observation: talk about the color and texture of the pine cones

Sensory play: add pine cones to the sand bin

Craft: decorate pine cones

Play and learn: introduce simple facts about pine cones


More pine cone activities from kid bloggers!

Pinecone Bats from Fireflies and Mudpies

Pinecone Winter Owls from Easy Peasy and Fun

Pinecone Pals from Sunshine Whispers

Pine Cone Science Experiment from Lemon Lime Adventures


 Sandbox activity with pine cones for preschoolers

Pinecones in the sandbox


Decorated pine cone ornament

 Pine cone ornament





Share this page


Subscribe to our mailing list and get updates right in your inbox!

Inspiring Ways to Play and Learn with LEGO®

 The Unofficial Guide to Learning with Lego®: 100+ Inspiring Ideas 

 ebook version  

 Special Christmas offer for 
 Learning with LEGO® ebook only
  Nov. 20 - Dec 15, 2017 

   Bonus package and giveaway entry with purchase!

LEGO Christmas giveaway 2017








Fun Products

Sponsored Content


 STEAM Kids Christmas!

STEAM Kids Christmas Book with Lights compressed






Kid Blogger Network


Preschool Unit Lesson Plans

See all the preschool themed units!

Preschool Unit Lesson Plans for a full year










Christmas Classics

Share this page