Top 5 things to do with conkers for kids

Top 5 things to do with conkers for kids

By Babysits, 6 min read

There are many uses for conkers - from animal DIYs to the beloved conkers game. Here are 5 fun and easy things to do with conkers for you to try with your kids.

Autumn has arrived and that means it’s the time of year where conkers are abundant and falling from the horse chestnut trees. But that means it’s also the time of year where your kids are trying to stuff as many conkers as they can into their pockets and take them all home! So what can you do with your newfound conker collection (besides simply hoarding)? Thankfully, with a bit of creativity there are plenty of things to do with conkers! Below we have some fun and simple conker games and DIYs for kids, parents and babysitters to enjoy together.

  1. Conker creatures
  2. Noughts and crosses
  3. Conker jewellery
  4. Autumn mobile
  5. Conkers game

Conker creatures

From creepy spiders to cute kittens, why not try making these adorable animal DIYs? The options are endless - you could create an entire zoo!

What you'll need:

  • Some shiny conkers
  • Some googly eyes (or draw them on with a chalk pen)
  • Glue
  • Extra items depending on your animal: pipe cleaners, cocktail sticks, string, etc.

conker animals

Noughts and crosses

A great and simple game of noughts and crosses - but with an autumn twist! Decide if you’re team X or O, and the first person to get three in a row wins.

What you'll need:

  • More conkers
  • Something to make a mark with (i.e. a chalk pen, correction fluid, etc.)
  • Extra: grab four sticks to create your 3x3 grid

conkers noughts and crosses

Conker jewellery

Have you always wanted to be a forest fairy queen or king? Then try making some conker bracelets and necklaces - fit for a monarch!

What you'll need:

  • Conkers (of course)
  • String
  • Something to make a hole with (i.e. a screwdriver, skewer, needle, etc.)
  • Extra: ribbons, feathers, straws...whatever your heart desires!

An adult will first need to make a hole through each of the conkers. After that let your kids thread the string through, making sure to tie it at the ends. Now it’s the fun part - decorate the jewellery to your heart’s content.

conkers jewellery

Autumn mobile

Still bonkers for conkers and all things autumn-themed? Then try creating this cute autumn mobile and bring nature into your home.

What you'll need:

  • You’ve guessed it...conkers!
  • String
  • Something to make a hole with (i.e. a screwdriver, skewer, needle, etc.)
  • Sticks
  • Extra: Other decorative pieces (i.e. feathers, pom poms, beads, etc.)

First, lay out your mobile on a flat surface, roughly in the position you would like to have it. We used one ‘main stick’ for the top and two smaller ones below it - but you can use as many or as little as you like.

Again, an adult will first need to make a hole through each of the conkers. Once this is done, let your child tie the string around the sticks and any other decorative items, as well as threading it through the conkers and tying a knot below to secure it in place. Feel free to decorate the mobile to your own personal taste!

conker autumn mobile

Conkers game

Of course this list wouldn’t be complete without the childhood favourite game of conkers. Did you know that the conker actually got its name from the game, rather than the other way round? If you need a refresher on how to play conkers or want some tips on how to ‘conquer’, we’ve got you covered!

What you'll need:

  • String (~30-45 cm) or a shoelace
  • Something to make a hole with (i.e. a screwdriver, skewer, needle, etc.)
  • And conkers! But this time not just any conker will do…

When choosing your conkers you should look for ones which are firm, uncracked and symmetrical. A great way to test the strength of your conker is to see whether it floats or not. If it floats, that means it's partially hollow inside and will be weaker. Whereas if it sinks, that means it's dense inside and you're potentially on to a winner!

As always, an adult should first make a hole through the conkers. Then thread through your string or shoelace, tie a knot at one end, and you’re ready to go!

How to play conkers:

  1. There are 2 players per match in a conkers game. Choose who will go first.
  2. The second player should wrap their string twice around their clenched hand and let the conker simply hang. The conker should be held perfectly still, at arm’s length, and at the height their opponent chooses.
  3. Then the first player, the striker, also wraps their string around their hand. Next, they aim and attempt to hit the second player’s conker. They have 3 shots before switching roles.
  4. If the strings tangle, the first player to shout “strings” gets another go.
  5. The game is won when one of the players destroys the other’s conker.

Of course, always remember to play safely and without too much force. And most importantly, have fun!

conkers game

We believe getting outside and being in touch with nature is incredibly important for kids. So we hope you enjoy these conker games and crafts this autumn season. If you’re looking for some outdoor activities before the weather gets too cold, be sure to check out our article on day out activities for kids. And if you enjoyed these DIYs for kids, we have plenty more fun and simple crafts for kids!

Want to share your amazing DIY creations with us? We’d love to see them! Tag us @babysits on Instagram or Facebook.