Magic Flame Pine Cones | Outlearn Activity Guide

A camp fire is a magical resource, especially if, when burning, different colours emerged from it. The aim of magic flame pine cones is to enhance story telling by creating mesmerising flames using different chemicals. This allows children to better understand nature, their environment and the science behind these fantastic flames.


  • Salt/potassium chloride/borax
  • Bowl
  • Water
  • Newspaper
  • Fire kit /water/gloves/bucket
  • Objects (weigh down pine cones)


Making Magic Flamed Pine Cones

Preparing your Pine Cones

Get a large bowl of water, put your pine cones in, and add in as much salt as the water will take. Repeat in separate bowls for other types of chemicals (borax/potassium chloride).

Soak Pine Cones

In order to soak the pine cones effectively, place an object on top of the pine cones to fully submerge them. Leave for at least a couple of hours. Do not leave for longer as they may close up and will not be good to burn (when closed).

Drying Stage

Remove from the water and dry on newspaper/cardboard overnight. Making sure you dry them separately. As you can see in the photo above they have been left too long.

Closed Pine Cones

If you have forgotten about the pine cones and left them to soak, you will come back to closed up pine cones. The only way to open them, and expose the chemicals, is to put them in the oven on a low heat.

Burning the Pine Cones

Prepare your pine cones before you start your session, (as seen above) create a fire and then tell a story, whilst throwing in the pine cones. Everyone will see a number of different colours like a yellow flame (salt), a purple flame (potassium chloride), and a green flame (borax). Make sure that you store each set of pine cones separately.

Safety Tips

Make sure your adhering to best practise with regard to fire management and group management around a fire.