Thursday 8 November 2018

Autumn to Winter motor skills craft - making a Pine Cone Snowy Owl Family

Snowy pine cone owl family

Learn about the seasons, autumnal materials and animals by making our Pine Cone Snowy Owls  with this fun and easy craft that helps motor skills development too.

Many people with autism, like some of my kids, have fine or gross motor skills challenges, but it's great practice for all kids and helps with their imagination and learning. This fun craft combines this learning activity with the fun idea of making snowy owls in anticipation of winter.

To make this little Pine Cone Snowy Owl Family you will need:
  • A pine cone for each owl you want to make (we did four)
  • Cotton wool
  • Coloured paper / coloured sticky paper / paper and colours to make beak and eyes
  • Leaves or feathers for the wings
  • Glue stick or glue gun
  • Scissors and a pen
  • Flour and a sieve for extra snow
By placing the materials around the table, you'll be encouraging your kids to cross their midline when doing the activity. Gluing and sticking is also a great practice for bilateral motor skills as you need to use both hands together, eg. holding the paper and gluing, or holding the glue stick and pulling the top off or pulling the cotton wool apart.  Stuffing the owls is a great fine motor skills activity and helps develop a good pincer grip for writing development too.

materials needed for the activity

To Make your Pine Cone Snowy Owls:

1) Go for a walk and collect any of the extra things you need to make your snowy owls from nature. We talked about what owls were like, what nocturnal meant and what we could collect to make them.  We collected pine cones for the owls bodies and tried to find small matching leaves to make their wings.

2) We looked through all the materials we were going to use. I encouraged the children to feel the prickly pine cones and the soft soft cotton wool. We looked at the veins on the leaves and thought about how they were similar to feathers. Then begin by “tearing” the cotton wool apart to make it smaller and stuff the pieces into the pine cones.

3) Once your owl has enough white stuffed into it, it's time to add eyes and a beak. We drew circles and triangles on orange stick note paper as it meant there was less sticking. Easigrip scissors can be helpful in developing the motor skills action if the kids are able or interested in cutting out the beak and eyes themselves. As they are sticking to to cotton wool, it's really easy.

4) We then selected matching leaves to be used at wings, trimmed them into wing type shapes and attached these with a glue stick.

5) Once all the owls were made we collected them together in a snowy owl family. We used some pebbles as eggs (even though it's not the right time of year :-)) and glued some of them into a shell like a nest as a table decoration - but it's also great fun just to play with them as little figurines too.  We sieved some flour on the counter to make snow for the owls to play in and that was a fun game for Jane too.

Have you tried any winter crafts yet?


  1. What a lovely idea, we will try this. Thank you

  2. I love this. Not only are the owls cute, it’s a fab multisensory activity and you describe all the differens aspects and benefits so well! X #KidsandKreativity

  3. These are great! Very cute and a great activity for the kids to do. Thanks again for linking up with #KidsandKreativity!


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