Autumn Crafts: Horse Chestnut Snake (Kastanienschlange) - Red Ted Art's Blog : Red Ted Art's Blog

Autumn Crafts: Horse Chestnut Snake (Kastanienschlange)

| October 8, 2013 | 15 Comments

Autumn Craft Ideas

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!

Kastanien Schlange

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!

Autumn Crafts

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.

Autumn Crafts for Kids

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.

mit Kastanien Basteln

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”.

Conker Crafts

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).

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Category: Autumn, Kids Craft, Nature

Comments (15)

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  1. Ooooh Maggy these are fantastic!

  2. Coombemill says:

    This brings back memories from childhood I had forgotten about. We used to thread them and leave the string long so we could pull them around the garden!

  3. This is fab… I wanted to make them anyway, so chuffed to have found a tutorial! Thank you! #SavouringtheSeason

  4. cat says:

    Hi Maggy! I love this idea. Over here in the US, they’re called buckeyes, and I’ve never seen anything fun or kid crafty done with them. Although we do make chocolate dipped peanut butter balls to look like them for the holidays.

  5. Karen Bell says:

    They look great. We made conker caterpillars last year, the kids loved them, so might have to make some more this year. #SavouringtheSeason

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