How to play conkers

Activities & Days Out / 26 October, 2020 / Nanny Anita

How to Play The Traditional Game of Conkers

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I have finally managed to get around to teaching EC and YC the game of conkers.  My brother and I used to take them to our primary school to play with our friends. Such happy memories. Well it was, until my school banned them because they were too dangerous!

You will need:

  • Conkers
  • String
  • Something to bore a hole

When it came to boring the hole I used a + sign screwdriver to do it. Getting through the first part is the hardest part, but once through the outer layer it is really easy.

Make sure that the hole is wide enough for the sting to go through, but not too wide that it will compromise the conker.

How to play conkers:

This is a game between two people.

The first person needs to wind their string around their hand and let the conker hang down.

The other person needs to try and hit their opponent’s conker. The best way to do this is to wrap the string round your hand, then taking the conker in the other hand draw it back, release and flick it forward for the strike.

We did play the rule that if you miss your opponent’s conker then you can have another go. Which was rather useful as I was rather rusty when it came to actually hitting the other conker where as EC was a natural at it.

You carry on doing this until one of the conker breaks.


The winner of the game now has a score of 1, and is known as a one-er. If you carry on winner you get an extra point for each win so would become a two-er, three-er etc.

Preparing your conker

To make your conker stronger there are a couple of things you can do:

  1. Soak the conker in vinegar
  2. Bake your conker
  3. Store it in a warm dry place for a year!

I never like to do the first ones as it seems like cheating to me, but my brother and I always kept any winners from one year to the next.


As I said earlier my primary school banned us from playing conkers because the Headmaster thought it was dangerous when all the bits of conkers flew off. When your little ones play conkers make sure that they don’t hold the strings up by their faces. If you are really worried about parts flying off and hitting them in the eyes then you can always get them to wear glasses.

I didn’t make EC or YC wear glasses, but I did make sure that they kept them well away from their faces.

Both EC and YC loved this game, YC found it slightly hard to strike the other conker, but she still had fun trying to play it.

YC giving it a good swing.

YC giving it a good swing.


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