Family activity: how to make a pine cone owl

Family activity: how to make a pine cone owl

A lovely craft to do with your little ones using finds collected on your autumnal walks

It’s starting to feel autumnal outside and our nature walks are focussed on looking at what’s on the ground, as much as what is hanging from the trees. This is the time of year when nature’s produce can be heard dropping from tree branches. So it can be a really interesting time for your little ones who are close to the ground and can easily pick up nature finds with interesting shapes.

Pine cone owl - what you will need

You will need

  • A pine cone (medium sized)
  • Two samaras or helicopters – seeds with wings from acer trees
  • Two acorn cups – the larger the better!
  • Two smaller circles of white paper and a black felt tip pen
  • An oval and pointed seed (for the beak)
  • Two one inch lengths of flat tree bark (for the wings)
  • Some glue or blue tack
Finds on nature table

Step 1: Take a bag, bucket or basket and head out to a local park or nature reserve and encourage your little one to collect different shaped natural objects during their walk.  Bring these finds back and allow them to dry out on an old chopping board or shelf.

Drawing eyes for your owl

Step 2: After talking with your child about their finds, take a medium sized pine cone and two nice acorn cups of equal size, preferably large.  Take your white paper circles, draw two black circles in the middle (for eyes) and then glue each one into the centre of the acorn cups.  Then glue or blue tack the cups to the pinecone.

Pine cone owl beak

Step 3: Now it’s time to choose a beak.  A pointed small fruit or seed or small piece of bark could work for this.  Glue just below the eyes in the centre of pine cone.

Pine cone owl wings

Step 4: It’s then fun to choose some nice flappy wings from bark or leaves collected.  I used oak bark but oak leaves work just as well.  Glue or blue tack these to the side of your cone.

Step 5: Lastly take the samaras or field maple or sycamore ‘helicopter’ seeds and fix these above each acorn eye and hey presto, you have a wise old owl.

Pine cone owl


Extra: for bigger kids, here's an autumnal spotter sheet to take on your walks! What will you spot?

Autumn wildlife detective

Click to download our autumn wildlife detective sheet

We'd love to see pictures of what you made!

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