Pinecones are the perfect loose parts to add to your daycare classroom. Our toddlers and preschoolers go hunting for pine cones of all sizes. Pine cones are all over our daycare, they are great for stacking, science, imaginary plays, exploration and more. We added some rulers to the pine cone bin and the children have been measuring.
The beauty of operating a mixed daycare is that the little ones imitate the older ones. So its no surprise to see the toddlers with rulers measuring and calling out numbers. Our nineteen-month-olds are counting to twenty, though not in succession, I often hear 13, 19, 15, 11 and that’s fine, they do discriminate numbers from alphabets. ( They will eventually get in, and we are in no hurry as all our children leave kindergarten ready.)
The story behind some of the pine cones.
- This one is from my neighbor’s yard.
- This one is from the playground near the elementary school.
- This one is from my high school assistant’s home. The children love to raid her pine tree which happens to be near the sidewalk.
- This large one was gifted to us from the Nevada area. Notice the red hue to this kind
- These were collected on a trip to Starved Rock, Illinois. I have never seen pinecones so small and circular until these. I take pleasure in collecting loose parts for the daycare.
Loose parts are everywhere. We seize the opportunity to use them as teaching tools. Children learn patterns, shapes, and texture with these. We have used them for science projects see the post here. Have fun with your children measuring pine cones of all sizes.
– Miss Sue