9 October 2013
One of the things I love about Autumn, is all the wonderful craft materials you can collect outside while you’re out on a blustery Autumn walk. Last weekend at the Pumpkin Festival, we discovered a giant chestnut tree and filled out pockets.
In the UK, a popular use for chestnuts is to string them up for a game of conkers. You take turns striking each others conkers until one breaks. In Germany, a popular Autumn activity with kids is to make your chestnuts in to little chestnut men/people (“Kastanienmännchen”) and animals.
The most important thing you need, obviously, is a good supply of shiny chestnuts. When you are out collecting, make sure you also pick up some that have a flat side as they make for great feet.
Then you’ll need something sharp to make holes in the chestnuts (this part is strictly for parents only!), and either toothpicks or matches to connect them. You could also use glue if you wanted to stick on other things e.g. acorns or leaves for embellishments, but I have found that most glues (except for my glue gun) don’t stick on chestnuts .
I also had a sheet of sticker eyes, which we used for the faces (though, again, they didn’t stick very well and needed a little extra glue from the glue gun).
So, together we figured out what we wanted to make (a man and his horse) and where the holes needed to go. I then pierced the holes in to the chestnuts, and the boy helped to stick the toothpicks in to put them together and added the eyes.
Here are out little chestnut people :) The boy then – quite rightly – decided that they also needed mouths, so we drew some on with a Tippex pen.
So, why not try and make some chestnut people yourselves? I’d love to see pictures if you do, so please feel free to share them over on the ExExpat Facebook page.