Conker Activity Ideas for Early Years


Do you have access to conkers? We've got lots of great conker ideas to enjoy with your younger children at home or in your Early Years setting!

We also have a printable version of our Conkers Early Years Planning Sheet here, for reference. 

A couple of years ago, we discovered a huge conker tree (horse chestnut) not far from our house. It seemed that nobody else knew it was there so we had it all to ourselves. We got a bit carried away and collected hundreds of conkers! Here are the activities that we did using the conkers and how they fit in to the development of children in the early years. 

Scroll down for a printable of our planning sheet. We have included a black and white version too. 


  • Discuss what conkers are. Conkers are the seeds of the horse chestnut tree. They are inedible and can make you quite ill if they are eaten.
  • If possible, find some conkers in their shells. Ask the children to describe the shells and the conkers. 
  • Go on an autumnal sensory walk. Ask the children to use all of their senses and describe what they can hear, see, smell and feel. 

Personal, Social and Emotional

  • Ask the children to help you to plan an autumnal walk. What will we need to wear? What should we take with us?
  • Go for a walk to collect conkers. Discuss how being outside in nature makes us feel. 


  • Drill holes into the conkers and then let the children thread them to make necklaces. 
  • Practise throwing conkers into a bowl. 
  • Create a treasure hunt in the tuff tray. Fill it with soil and conkers. Give the children spoons to dig out the treasure. 


  • Write letters on the conkers using a black pen. Can the children create any words? Can they make their names? 
  • C is for conker. Can the children think of anymore things that begin with c? Print off a printable C and fill it with conkers. Explore our other Letter C activities


  • Label cups with numbers and invite the children to count the corresponding number of conkers in to them. 
  • Use the conkers as countables to explore what happens when there is one more or one less. 
  • Use scales to weigh the conkers.
  • Practise subitising with the conkers. Put small groups of conkers in fron of the children and ask them how many there are. Do we need to count? 

Understanding the World

  • Use cardboard tubes to create a conker run. 
  • Talk about the changes that we see as we move into the autumnal months. What have the children noticed?

Expressive Arts

  • If you have an play kitchen or a mud kitchen, put some conkers into there and ask the children what recipes they could make with them. (Remind them that the imaginative recipes would be for squirrels as conkers are poisonous for us to eat.)
  • Have a go at conker painting
  • Collect conkers and leaves and twigs and make a twig fairy.
  • Discuss and then colour in our horse chestnut tree colouring page.

Printable Planning Sheet

You can download a printable version of this planning sheet here:

More Related Activities


Conker Activity Ideas for Early Years
Tuesday, 27th September 2022

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