After spending hours collecting conkers with your little ones it seems a shame to just throw their hard earned treasures away, so why not try some of these ideas this autumn and make the most out of your conkers?
They can help you conker your fear of spiders
Old wives tale or not I am sure many people that are afraid of spiders will try anything to get those eight legged creatures out of their house! It is thought that if you cut a cross on the top and place it around your house either: near a door or window; under furniture; in the corners of a room then it will excrete the chemical Saponin which will fend off these terrifying creepy crawlies.
They can bring you good luck
It is said that saying “Oddly oddly onker my first conker” when finding your first conker of the year and carrying it around with you will bring you good fortune!
Have a game of conkers!
A classic childhood game that brings great, simple fun! For those who do not know how to play conkers the rules are:
Two players thread string or a shoe lace through the middle of a conker and tie a knot (so it does not come back out). The aim of game is to hit the other person’s conker until one of them falls off the string or is smashed. One player then holds their conker out at arm’s length and lets the other player hit it, this then continues until one player wins.
*Tip to make your conker stronger soak in vinegar then bake at a low temperature for five minutes.
Use them to decorate your house
Conkers makes beautiful house decorations giving your home a warm, autumn feel and you can make them at home! Some of the most stunning pieces were the simplest to make for example filling the bottom of a vase with conkers and placing a pillar candle on top or making a conker wreath by threading garden wire through the centre of the conkers and then decorating with ribbon. (Why not try making a heart shaped wreath using a metal coat hanger as will hold the shape?)
Use them to have an arts and crafts day
Carry on the fun for your kids and use conkers to make fantastic arts and crafts. Try making some conker animal pencil toppers using just: felt or card, Googly eyes, super glue and scissors – the natural markings on the conker make great features like the chest of a bird! Another great and simple craft is conker rolling art, just place a few bits of paper in a box squirt in some different colour of paint, put in the conkers and begin moving the conkers around to create some really wacky pictures!
Show your kids some science at home
Autumn is also a time for bonfire night, why not show your kids a bit of science this year and show them what happens when conkers are exposed to extreme heat? Throw the conker in the bonfire and as the conker gets hot it fills with steam and then BOOM! It really is amazing to see these little horse chestnuts explode. (Always make sure you stand a good distance away.)