Kids getting bored? Need an activity that will get them out of the house and benefit everyone? This activity is a weekend (or any time) win with the kids!
Go out and gather some pinecones. It’s like a fall/winter “egg hunt”. Make a game out of it.
- Who found the most?
- Who found the biggest?
- Who found the smallest?
- Who found the oddest shape, etc.?
Once you’ve gathered all your pinecones, make sure they’re clean before laying them on a foil lined baking sheet. (Dust off any dirt and debris and visible hitchhikers!) Bake at 200º F in oven for about 30 minutes.
(NOTE: In case you haven’t worked with pinecones before, don’t throw out the ones that are tightly closed! The baking will cause them to open and release their seeds. I found that out the hard way when I placed some closed ones near the wood-stove to use as kindling because they were tight and “ugly”. Well, the joke was on me. I came back to find beautifully opened pinecones and what seemed like hundreds of seeds all over the place!)
Wait for them to cool and transfer to gallon zip-top bag. Add about 15-30 drops of your favorite essential oils – Can anyone say “Christmas Spirit”?!? – and leave the bag sealed for 1-2 weeks. The longer you wait, the stronger the smell.
Now, what do you do with them?
- Add them to your garland over your mantle.
- Tuck them into your decorations.
- Place a small basket of them on the back of the guest bath toilet to keep things smelling fresh!
- Hang them in your artificial tree to give it that “real” smell. (Try Young Living’s Pine, Idaho Balsam Fir, Northern Lights Black Spruce, Cedarwood, Idaho Blue Spruce, or Cypress for that wonderful real Christmas tree experience!)
Place out just in time for your holiday celebrations, or put them in a decorative tin or basket for gifting! Be sure to share your tips, too! What oils did you use? What did you do with your pinecones?