Monday 1 October 2012

Things to do with chestnuts and kids

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Right across the road from our house is a row of Horse Chestnut trees so we've gone a bit chestnut or conker mad!  In fact we've done so much stuff with conkers I'm going to split this into two posts (you can check out part two here)!  So what can you do with conkers and kids?

Please note that horse chestnuts should not be eaten!

1 - Go collect them
No pictures of us in action as every time we've gone to collect conkers its started to pour down with rain, but we've literally had bag fulls!

2 - Shell the chestnuts
I was a bit wary of letting Champ open up all the chestnuts as these things are seriously spikey.  But, it actually turned out to be the perfect task for little fingers and the tricky ones we opened together with a knife.

3 - Tongs and muffin tins
Next up I got out the tongs and muffin tin and Champ had great fun transferring the conkers from bowl to tin and back again.  Kept him busy for ages (perfect!)

4 - Weigh and measure
Inspired by Teach Preschools weighing and measuring with acorns we thought we'd do the same with conkers.  I've never done this before and Champ was quite excited to use the scales and liked 'writing' down his findings, I also gave him a tape measure.  This didn't last long, but I think we'll give it a go again and this time pay a bit more attention to the numbers on the scales.

5 - Playdough
I got out our trustworthy batch of playdough (it's been going months) and gave Champ straws and conkers and he made me a lovely birthday cake.

When Bud got home from school he also made some more birthday cakes - good job I don't age every time I'm given a birthday cake as some how playdough always ends up being played with like this no matter what I give them with it!

6 - Conker and spoon race
Here's our Autumn take on the good old egg and spoon race and yep, you've guessed it, it was raining when we did this and no one would stand still enough for a photo - imagine!  But, Bud thought he was very cool when he beat me!

7 - Outdoor pretend cooking
I gave Champ a bowl of conkers and let him play outside in the drizzle one day and next thing I knew they'd been incorporated into his stone stew.  Later he added soggy leaves and bits of cardboard - yum!

I hope you've enjoyed a bit of chestnut fun today, why not check out part two now?  To make sure you don't miss out on future posts why not subscribe and get the posts direct to your inbox, like us on facebook or follow us on Pinterest.

Hope to see you again soon!


  1. I had the BEST chestnut tree growing up! I miss it! Great activity ideas! Guess we might have to substitute acorns :(

    Have a blessed day!

  2. I've never actually seen what a chestnut looks like straight off the tree! Great imagination - thinking of things to do with them! Thanks for linking up!

    1. Thanks for popping over and for hosting the link up! We'll be back next week!

  3. I want to make sure you do not eat those. The "chestnuts" you used were not chestnuts, they were buckeyes. They look almost the same but buckeyes are very poisonous. You can tell by the exterior of the nut and I believe buckeyes are darker, but the exterior and tree leaves are the best way to tell. Please Google the difference so no one gets ill or worse. Thanks for the post otherwise!

    1. Hi, thanks for pointing that out. In the uk we call them horse chestnuts or conkers and yes they are poisonous if eaten. All our play was fully supervised by me and I made sure no conkers were put in mouths.

  4. Such fun activities!! Thank you so much for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

  5. Such great ideas for playing with chestnuts! Thanks for sharing at the Sunday Showcase. :)

  6. I am from Toledo, Ohio. The buckeye is our State tree. The buckeye are incredibly similar. The buckeye tree is native to the United States. I don't know what the leaves from your tree look like. Buckeye leaves are huge with 5 parts if u will. Chestnut leaves are singular and while both nuts come in a green spiky pod, chessnuts, are more teardrop shaped with 2-3 nuts per pod. Buckeyes usually have one nut per pod, although I have found double fruited pods on occasion.
    Chances are if you're in the UK, you have chestnuts, not buckeyed.


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