More Autumn Crafts for you – this is a real blast from the past for us: Conker Snakes… or Horse Chestnut Snakes or Kastanienschlangen… whatever you call these, they are another classic Autumn craft to do with kids. We love crafting with nature at this time of year. Going out and collecting conkers, acorns, leaves and whatever else is out there for us to discover (I have a whole list of Nature Crafts for Autumn for you to check out! And don’t forget the British classic of “How to Play Conkers” – how I love Autumn!!). Horse Chestnut Snakes are PERFECT for “using up” tons of those chestnuts. if you are like us.. you will end up with bags full of conkers with not enough crafts to use them all up. Snakes it is.
NUMERACY TOOL: The best bit? These wonderful and tactile little toys double up WONDERFULLY as counting snakes. We get 10 chestnuts.. and if you want label them 1-10 (my daughter did this on one of them a year or two later) and use them to count to ten, but also add and subtract with in the “10” range. Perfect for number bond practice too!
Materials: a handful of conkers… the more you have the bigger the snake, skewer, string or wool, googly eyes, glue
Autumn Crafts Conker Snake: This is how we did it….
Watch the video or follow the photo instructions below!
1) Sort your conkers by size. Smallest at the end. Find a nice big one for the head – choose one with a nice “non shiny” bit. This is important, as googly eyes (or anything for that matter) don’t stick very well on the “shiny” bit… but DO stick on this “face” part of a conker.
2) The parent now makes holes into all the conkers – sideways – so you can string them up – I used a kebab skewer for this.
3) We made a little “needle” from wire, as I couldn’t find my “wool needles”, then we threaded through the wool “double”, so that we can have a forked tongue at the end.
4) Thread your conkers. Optional: tie knots between each conker, but it isn’t strictly speaking necessary.
5) We then tied a knot at the tail end and cut the wool close to the knot. Then I did two knots at the “muoth end, to give the a tongue shape. Cut the wool about 2cm from these and tied little knots at the very end, o avoid fraying and to allow for a “split tongue”.
6) Glue on googly eyes on to the “non shiny” part the conker. If you DO end up with only a shiny part of the conker for the face, make some scratches into the shiny surface, that should give your glue some “hold”.
Enjoy… this Autumn Crafts idea also makes for a very tactile “play thing”… let younger siblings play (minus the googly eyes).