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

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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 usually find them in a department store or craft store.

Create a pine cone trail

pine cone trail activity


Spread 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 share a pin on our Pine Cones Pinterest board that explains 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 activity: decorate with pine cones

Play and learn: introduce interesting facts about pine cones with science activities



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



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