First, I found a NEW AMAZING book called Puppets, Jumping Jacks and Other Paper Peopleby Michael Grater. Now out of print, I highly recommend you get a copy if you are at all thinking of doing puppetry with your students. I think we will incorporate it into our next Great Artist study (Degas, with his great interest in movement). So I'm excited about that.
Next, I went looking for a resource for pine cones since Eric Fairman talks about pine cones as a math manipulative for 1st grade Quality of Numbers (we did his "Number Twelve" dance today and the children loved it; we then got out our nuts and went through the poem again with the children making each figure using their pecans). He mentions giving each child 12 pine cones and seeing who can make the most beautiful twelve. Here's a wonderful website called Peggy's Pinecones from which you can get all types. The complete list includes Douglas Fir, Ponderosa, Sugar, Digger, Jeffrey, and more! Douglas Fir Cones are $5.00 for a bag of 50, making it a reasonable choice for a classroom set of 12 per child.
I also, while searching for pine cones, found a great resource for acorn caps. We use acorn caps to glue onto the end of our homemade knitting needles; I've tried polymer clay balls for several years but I never feel that they turn out all that well. I much prefer acorn caps. Medusa Floral's got 'em!