September 29, 2011

Fall Sculptures for Fine Motor Skills

As we know, older children groan at fine motor activities that would thrill younger children. After all, what ten-year-old wants to do scissors work or practice penmanship? But give a child a bagful of chestnuts, acorns, and pine cones along with a glue gun and a few other implements, and you’ve got an engrossed artist who will lose track of time in the midst of fine motor work.

Pine Cone Triceratops

Do you want to try it? Here’s what to do.

1. Gather your materials. (Involve the children in collecting the materials from outdoors if possible.)

  • chestnuts, acorns, pine cones, sticks, leaves (anything you can find outside in the fall)
  • glue gun and refills
  • liquid white out
  • Fine tipped markers
  • toothpicks

2. Let the children have at it!

Some children will benefit from having pre-made samples or photos from which to draw inspiration. If you're wondering what the white out and fine-tipped marker are for, check out the eyeballs on the birds pictured here.

Acorn Birds' Nest

Here is some more inspiration from around the web for making sculptures with pine cones, acorns, and such.

Acorn Animals from Red Ted Art’s blog
Mini-World from Streamers and Acorns from Se7en
Acorn and Pine Cone Critters from Menschenskind
Acorn Animals and Pine Cone Animals (more photos) from yours truly at

Question: Do you have a favorite seasonal activity for fine motor skills? Please share in the comments.

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