Nature studies with children are limited in the winter. The trees are bare, and the flowers are not there. There is no grass and no leaves. In this sad situation, we discovered pinecones!
I asked the kids to gather their favorite pinecones. I asked them to try and find the imperfect ones and guess if the pinecones were eaten by the hungry squirrels or touched by woodpeckers.
I asked to draw the pinecones; then to separate them into little pieces. The kids then had to draw and label everything they find inside the pinecone. They children may find seeds, sap, etc.
I asked the children to measure the pinecone and its seeds. I asked them to draw the tree the pinecone came from. I asked to measure and draw the pine needles. Finally, using a tree book, the children had to find which tree did their pinecones come from and write the name of that tree down.
This project was fun both for my artsy child and for my more analytical children. There is both drawing and measuring, to make everyone happy. The kids learned a lot about the different pinecones, how they are made and where do they come from.