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Blog about living a life to nurture, cherish and create.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Going conkers

Conkers in a pink bucketIt is the season where conkers start falling to the ground. They are such handsome things in their smooth brown jackets. They can form a great focus to a morning of activities with children. Here are some ideas as to what to do with them.
  • Collect them - this may sound obvious but you can make this fun and exciting. Depending on your child's age you can count them, categorise them into big/small, have a competition to see who can collect the most in a set amount of time and have a look at the spikey shells with the soft insides that the conkers come from. Talk about the colours of the leaves too - it can be quite a lesson in how nature changes through the seasons.
  • Play conkers! - Now I'm sure you know the rules but just in case you don't... Take two conkers and make a hole in each. You can use a skewer or a drill (but be careful, this can be quite hazardous. Don't blame me for any injuries). Thread a string through each. Now, one person dangles their conker while the other tries to hit it, and smash it with theirs. The winning conker is the one that survives the most contests.
  • Make a conker necklace. Again, be careful when making the holes through them. Thread them on a string and make a necklace.
  • Plant one - this can me a long-term lesson in how trees grow. I planted some several years ago and they are now several feet tall. I haven't yet found somewhere to plant them out of their pots. If you've got a decent sized garden this could be a really interesting long term project. If you've got more than one child you can plant one for each and have a competition to see whose germinates first.
  • If you have a new-born park them under the conker tree and let them look at the leaves. Both my children loved watching trees when they were in the pram. It is interesting for them to see the movement of the tree and the dappled light through a different colour of leaves from usual.
Be careful not to let your children put the conkers in their mouths - not healthy. Also, everyone should wash their hands after handling conkers. Other than that, have lots and lots of autumn fun!

What do you think of these activities? Have you got any other suggestions? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below...

For more children's activities follow my Pinterest board Things to do with Kids.
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