Did you know that the World Conker Championships takes place annually on the second Sunday in October?

Organised by Ashton Conker Club, the competition first took place in 1965 and now welcomes teams from all over the world.  This Sunday’s 2014 championships, which raises money for charities for the blind and the visually impaired, will be held at Southwick, near Oundle, Northamptonshire, from 10.30am to 3pm.

But, as well as attracting international sporting talent, the test of the strength of the seed of the horse chestnut tree is also a favourite playground game so, if your children are keen releasers of the shiny brown treasures from their spiky cases, why not encourage them to find out more about them, other than whether they’re more likely to win with a vinegar-soaked or oven-baked entrant…

IMG_2062.JPGTop Marks, “helping teachers and parents save time finding excellent online educational resources,” includes a conkers fact sheet as part of its autumn fact sheets that also feature hedgehogs, squirrels and trees and conker is also included in the site’s Autumn Words and Autumn Topic Words printables.

IMG_2071.PNGThe Woodland Trust’s Nature’s Calendar provides a horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) fact sheet that tells us it was introduced to the UK from Turkey in the late 16th century, is a stout tree up to 30 meters tall, with a huge domed canopy and grey-brown, fairly flaky bark and has distinctive leaves, with five or more long leaflets.

IMG_2063.PNGThe charity, which looks after more than 1,000 woods and groups of woods covering 190 square kilometers, also offers a conker pack to download from its Nature Detectives website.  It includes art sheets, a conker bag template, suggestions for how to make models out of conkers and a recipe for making chocolate conkers (because the real ones aren’t edible!) as well as a conker champion certificate to award to your own tournament’s winner.

IMG_2067.JPGIn its autumn related resources Spinning Tots, which supplies free downloadable early years teaching resources, includes a conker in its checklist, identification cards, writing frames, autumn banner and bunting.

IMG_2065.JPGAlso “perfect for nature study”, Activity Village includes a horse chestnut tree in its tree colouring pages.

IMG_2070.PNGAnd Heritage in Schools includes two images and two worksheets in its downloads and resources on its Teachers Investigations: Horse Chestnut page.  Worksheet 1 invites the completer to colour the horse chestnut leaf and conker and then draw a leaf, colour and cut it out.  Worksheet 2 asks you to find the horse chestnut leaf, find and stick on a leaf and then make a rubbing of horse chestnut bark.

Do you love finding printables on the internet?  Do you have particular favorites?  Or have you featured some on your own blog?  Email karen.malpass @ inkfactory.com with your links and we may be able to feature them in a future post.

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