conkerI saw my first conker of the autumn on our walk to school last week. It reminded me of something I wrote two years ago:

Walking together to school, the 1&onlyD found a late season conker on the pavement amongst leaves and horse chestnut shells. I asked if the kids had ever played conkers and, when I began to explain it, found escalating interest. That evening, I punched holes in four conkers with a hammer and drill bit. In the garden, after a quick demonstration, we began a mini-competition. No.1 son and No.2 son’s match progressed quickly with the younger boy’s conker cracking, exposing the off-white kernel and later ricocheting into his face.

The matches continued the next morning. The 1&onlyD stood poised to receive my conker swing, with eyes closed and face pinched. In both matches, each successful hit was followed by close examination of the conker and commentary on bruising, cracking and denting – much of it imagined and all enjoyed.

And this, in turn, reminded me of my post on Out-sourced Parenting. The conker fights were a rare, albeit trivial, example of my children learning from me something tangible, if of no practical utility. I was proud at the time. Silly, I know, but it was a fleeting taste of active, interventionist fatherhood.

I’m taking the little two to school tomorrow. I wonder if they can be excited again to hunt for and choose conkers with which they will do battle.



Filed under parenting, play time

18 responses to “Conkers

  1. I used to love playing conkers!!! found you on the magic moments linky x

  2. I went out hunting conkers with the kids on Sunday for Country Kids linky, we didn’t find any but had a great time looking!

  3. as a small one i used to love playing conkers but with schools banning it i kind of forgot really about playing (what is with schools being OTT?)

    I think this year i may have to teach my children how to play 🙂

    Thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments

  4. sarahmo3w

    Brilliant, you’ve got me enthused too! Must look for some connects this weekend 🙂

  5. I remember trying to bake conkers as a child to harden them. After about thirty minutes they exploded, covering the inside of my mum’s oven with conker kak… It was then my older brother explained you are supposed to soak them in vinegar first. I think I had an early bath that night… Happy gathering, stringing and conkering… who will be the conkering hero?

  6. We are going on a conker hunt after school today! Big man is excited about a conker fight

  7. We love hunting for conkers – it is such a great time of year

  8. Definetly going to go searching for conkers at the weekend. Have never been successful in finding any, but fingers crossed for this year.

  9. I remember playing conkers 🙂 we had a huge tree near our house.

  10. What a wonderful post. My favourite memory of conkers is of the tree outside my Grandads house where we used to pick them up and then make them into the game that everyone knows 🙂 Thank you so much for linking to PoCoLo

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