Squirting paint using basters and pipettes is always a good way to strengthen fine motor skills. Our preschoolers loved making colorful waterfalls! But how about younger children? This pine cone fine motor activity for toddlers is the answer, especially in the fall.
When someone donated a huge bag of pinecones, I just knew they’d be perfect for this. You know how I love to work those fine motor skills in all areas of the classroom! There are so many cute fall crafts out there, and I admit I’ve got a few planned for October, but what I feel is most important is open-ended art. The type of art that the children walk right up to the table and do what they want, with no thought on the finished product. The pure joy of just exploring! That’s exactly what happened with this fall fine motor activity. This was the first time our 2 year olds used droppers or pipettes. They smiled huge when they realized if they squeezed and released, paint would burst out. The more they performed the motion, the easier it got. Pure fun!
This post contains affiliate links.
Pine Cone Fine Motor Activity for Toddlers
What you will need:
- pine cones
- washable tempera paint
- droppers or pipettes
- brushes (if some of the children do not yet feel comfortable with the droppers and pipettes)
Setting it up:
Pour the tempera paint into containers and place them on a table, along with the droppers and/or pipettes and/or brushes and the pine cones. Invite your toddlers to paint the pinecones! It really is as simple as that!
What I love about these droppers is that the children really have to focus on squeezing the paint from the tray and releasing it onto the pine cone. It is not easy, takes great concentration, but once they master this? All smiles!
Oh, and they also giggled when the droppers made bubbles from the air.
These are the types of art activities where I can show them and walk away. Child-led, NOT teacher directed.
We hung these on our classroom tree along with the owls made by the 3s class. The children love to try to figure out which one is theirs.
More ideas for fall:
Join over 16,000 parents & educators receiving helpful tips, activities and resources!