Simple but so effective – these conker people are easy to make.
Age Range: 6+
Duration: 1-2 hours
Time Of Day: any time
Category: art & creating tool use & traditional crafts
Muddy Faces actively promotes child-led outdoor play and learning . We recognise and believe in the curiosity that children have and their drive to explore and discover. We suggest that more prescribed activities like this one are considered with this in mind. Often much more creative ideas will occur if resources are provided and children given the time and space to explore independently.
Head out on a conker hunt…
Consider the environmental impact of preparing for, carrying out & completing this activity. Could the impact be reduced? A few considerations specific to this activity are:
- collect conkers that have fallen onto the pavement & would end up being crushed in the road
- don’t forget to collect up the little and misshapen ones that often get ignored
- if collecting from a more natural areas please follow our foraging guidelines
Health and safety considerations
Follow your usual operating procedures and carry out appropriate risk benefit assessments. Some considerations particular to this activity are:
- softwood drills and cocktail sticks have sharp points
- palm drills have sharp edges
- choking hazard.
For each conker person, select 3 large conkers and 4 small ones.
Step 2 – use a softwood hand drill to make holes in the 4 small conkers
Make sure the drilled hole is the right size for the cocktail sticks – too big and they will fall out.
Our softwood drills come in 2, 3 and 4 mm diameter – the 2 mm bore creates the perfect-sized hole for a cocktail stick.
A conker clamp is useful to help prevent the conker slipping around, but not essential.
See our drilling conkers activity if you need help.
If the conkers are soft you may be able to push the cocktail sticks in without the need for a drill, or use a thin bradawl or similar to make the holes.
Although we didn’t try it, you could use a malleable substance such as bluetack or glue to help the sticks stay in place.
Step 3 – make the lower body section
Drill 2 holes into one of the large conkers in the direction you want the legs sticking out, and one hole on the opposite side of the body to attach the torso.
Attach the bum and feet together with cocktail sticks.
Step 4 – make the upper body, arms & head
Drill one large conker all the way through – this is for the upper body.
On this conker drill 2 angled holes on the side for the arms.
Use cocktail sticks to attach the hands to the upper body. We snapped the cocktail sticks to make them shorter for the arms than the legs.
Drill the last large conker for the head (do not go all the way through). Attach it to the upper body, making sure the cocktail stick goes all the way through and out the bottom.
Step 5 – put it all together
Connect the upper body to the lower body and Bob’s your uncle – you have a conker person!
Take it further
Use chalk or acrylic pens to decorate/personalise your conker people/creature/sculpture.
Take your conker people on an adventure, or play hide and seek with them.
Try making some conker animals.
Use acorns as an alternative to conkers.