These easy-to-make tinker tray pine cone monsters let your creative thinkers and tinkers engage in imaginative pretend play.
The best part?
There is no “correct” way to create a tinker tray pine cone monster! It all depends on your kiddos’ materials and innovation.
This activity uses only three supplies and whatever other items you have on-hand for the tinker tray.
- Pine cones
- A tinker tray (muffin tin, egg carton, or any medium-sized container)
- Craft materials (affiliate link) for the tinker tray
Some examples of materials to place in your tinker tray:
- pom poms
- googly eyes
- ribbon, string, or yarn
- pipe cleaners
Have even more fun with the leftover pipe cleaners!
After you have gathered all of your supplies, it is time to prepare your items for the tinker tray.
Cut up any items that may need cutting (have the kids practice cutting!), and simply place all of the items into the container. Wallah… you’ve made a tinker tray!
Then, pick a place to let the creativity begin. Try modeling a pine cone monster to help your kiddos get started, but then let your kiddos take it from there.
My preschooler was able to glue on everything by himself, but my toddler needed a bit more help. So, I put the glue on the pine cone and she stuck on the materials.
We used a lot of glue (affiliate link) making these pine cone monsters!
Now that the pine cone monsters are complete and dry, let the pretend play begin!
Pretend play can happen anywhere! Or, you can create a fun setting to spark their imagination:
- a piece of patterned fabric placed on the ground can create a scene
- a few branches, twigs, and leaves for a small-world play approach
- some cardboard boxes and toilet paper rolls can create a maze
- a large container filled with popcorn kernels, a shovel, and a cup can create a sensory bin
For an even simpler approach, just have your kiddos take their pine cone monsters on a walk or read a story together.
Have fun with 23 more nature activities!
They can even take them on-the-go to places around town. Pine cone monster adventures at the grocery store, the park, or a restaurant!
Pine cone monsters can make great companions for your little ones.
Bonus: when they are finished playing with them, the pine cone monsters can add some character to your home as fun decorations!