Early autumn is my absolute favourite time of the year; there is still a promise of the odd good day but it’s the calm before the storm of Christmas preparations. It’s also the time of year when a simple walk is transformed – by conkers.
Even now at some 30 something years old I have to pick up a conker if I see one. Earlier in the week I went for a walk once the children were in bed and stumbled across a conker goldmine. There were lots, and even more excitingly there were many still in their cases. Is there anything more satisfying then popping open the conker case to reveal the shiny new conker inside? Both Mr D and Miss E love this time of year and we are fortunate enough to have streets that are lined with Horse Chestnut Trees.
There has been the odd conker falling down to the ground, but the branches are still heavily laden with their fruit, and so after a windy day I found a good number whilst walking. I gathered some to add to the small collection we already had from the weekend and yesterday whilst Mr H napped, the older children and I made some Conker Caterpillars.
To make out conker caterpillars we used pipe cleaners, a Phillips screwdriver, lots of conkers, goggly eyes and glitter glue.
Using the screwdriver I put holes into the centre of each conker. It’s easier to hold the conker against a sponge or similar when doing this. I then gave them to the children and they threaded them onto pipe cleaners (fold the end over to stop the conkers sliding off). Once the pipe cleaner is full fold the end over and you have the body of your caterpillar.
We then added goggly eyes and decorated with glitter glue – a current favourite craft item of both the children.
The finished conker caterpillars look pretty good and the children have asked me if we can go to collect more conkers to make some more caterpillars.
Suggestions to extend this activity.
- Ask the children to thread biggest to smallest or vice versa
- Number the conkers and ask the children to thread in number order
- Add the letters of the children’s name to the conkers and ask them to thread to spell out their name