Eight Things to Do with Conkers
From spider deterrents to good luck charms, here are eight things to do with conkers this autumn.
So it’s that time of year again. Autumns beginning and the chestnut trees are filling up with conkers ready to fall and cover the ground. But what to do with the millions of poisonous seeds.
Spiders absolutely hate the smell of conkers so keeping them bowls of them around the house will keep spiders away for anyone who dislikes the creepy crawlies. The scent in undetectable to humans so don’t worry about stinking your house out.
Conkers can be placed in draws or wardrobes to act as a cheap but effective alternative to moth balls in order to keep the winged insects from nibbling on your socks.
A couple of years ago i took some of my leftover playing conkers and wrapped them in cotton wool. Dab on some glitter and they make cute little snowballs to hang around the house.
Alternatively you could leave them natural and keep a bowl of them with a few candles or some holly leaves for a more traditional table ornament.
Of course, conkers could also be used to decorate for any other winter celebrations. Paint black and add some pipe-cleaners for Halloween spiders, or decorate with bright colours for Divali or Hanukah.
As a good luck charm
Conkers are believed to bring good luck to anyone who carries one in their pocket. Try it this autumn and see if it works for you. It cant hurt (unless you’re allergic in which case i reckon it would be rather the opposite).
As boring as it may initially sound, gathering some friends together and holding a contest to see who can find and collect the most conkers can be great fun and is much better than sitting inside alone on those chilly autumn afternoons.
Like snowball fights, but with conkers. The same rules apply, pick teams then go to war with conkers as the ammo. Just remember not to throw them too hard as conkers can hurt.
Blow them up
So I may sound like a violent, pyromaniac by this point but throwing some conkers into a campfire or bonfire and watching them explode can be endlessly entertaining.
The most obvious thing to do with the masses of conkers would be to play “Conkers” with them. All you need to do is drill a hole through your conker and thread some cord through it. Rules can be found easily on the internet although it mostly consists of just knocking your conker against your opponents until one breaks. For anyone who truly loves to play Conkers, the World Conker Championships are held annually and several smaller contests are held around the world, concentrating mostly in the U.K..
Now whatever you do remember to stay safe when playing with conkers, especially when blowing them up or fighting with them; and no matter what you do DO NOT EAT THEM, horse chestnuts (conkers) are extremely poisonous.