If your kids love collecting acorns, you’ll love these easy and fun ways to play with acorns, and you’ll feel better about all the acorns in your house when you discover why collecting things is so good for kids!
There are handfuls of acorns randomly deposited on tables and lined up on window sills. I have to remember to empty acorns out of pockets before clothes go into the washing machine and I once found a massive collection of acorns under my son’s pillow!
I’ve long since given up trying to stop infiltration of acorns into our house, as it seems my kids are all compelled to collect them. Luckily, collecting things is really good for kids, and there are lots of fun ways to play with all those acorns too.
What Kids Learn from Collecting Things
Whether it’s acorns, rocks, shells, sticks, stamps or something else, there are lots of benefits and opportunities to learn when kids collect things.
When kids are collecting they are developing and practicing skills such as counting, classification, organisation and decision making.
There is often lots of opportunities to develop language and social skills as kids negotiate trading items, talk about their awesome collection, and maybe connect with others who like collecting the same things.
Collecting natural materials has an added bonus of getting the kids outside, moving, and exploring. But even collections of store bought items have positives. Kids are learning to budget and make wise spending choices as they save their pocket money to buy the collectable items they desire.
You can encouraging collections by joining in with your kids, making sure you bring along a bag or container when you go somewhere so you are ready to collect, and providing a ‘treasure box’ for them to store their items in.
Sometimes a collection can get a little out of control. That’s when a conversation about being selective might be useful, and when you might look for ways to repurpose some of the collected items. In the case of our acorn collections, there are so many simple and fun ways to play with acorns and make that collection useful.
20 Fun Ways to Play with Acorns.
If your kids like collecting acorns as much as mine do, you might be wondering what on earth you can do with all those acorns???
Luckily there are lots and lots of easy and fun ways to play with acorns. From cute and clever crafts, to hands on learning activities, you’ll find lots of acorn activities to put your collection to good use.
Use a permanent marker to add faces and make acorn people for imaginative play.
Make a gorgeous whimsical acorn bell – from Fireflies and Mudpies
Try this acorn maths game with printables – from The Educators Spin on It.
Use your acorns for this acorn ordering and sorting activity – from Rainy Day Mum.
Make an acorn alphabet sensory jar – from The Educators Spin on It.
Try this acorn counting and balancing game – from Learn With Play At Home.
Make some floating acorn cap candles – from The Gunny Sack.
Add some acorns to a Fall play dough invitation to play – from Fantastic Fun and Learning.
Make these super cute acorn mice – from Kids’ Craft Room.
Play this great acorn throwing game – from Teach Me Mommy.
Make some acorn cap jewels, they are great for sorting and counting. Find out how to make them from KiwiCo.
Use the caps to make these gorgeous acorn marble necklaces – from Rhythms of Play.
Make an acorn bracelet – from Red Ted Art.
Make some acorn ninjas! – from Inspiration Laboratories.
Hide some acorns in this colourful fall sensory bin – from Powerful Mothering.
Make this adorable acorn squirrel – from Mama Instincts.
Try this fun roly-poly acorn painting activity – from Toddler at Play.
Make a happy acorn necklace to wear – from Whimsy Love.
These acorn candle holders would make lovely gifts – from Bounceback Parenting.
Try this felted pom pom acorn craft – from Adventures in a Box.
Do your kids like to collect stuff?
Have you got any more ideas for what we can do with all these acorns?
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
I remember collecting acorns and chestnuts (not the edible kind) in Poland every autumn, taking them to school and making people and animals out of them with matchsticks. Lots of very fond memories.
We live in an area where oak trees are plentiful and my boys marvel at the masses of acorns that they find underneath. We haven’t taken to collecting them yet, but we might still…
They are such lovely objects. I’ve always had a soft spot for acorns, picked up a few myself recently on holidays because I couldn’t resist and we don’t see them at home. Could you try drilling holes through them and stringing them up for decoration or jewellery?
I’ve never actually come across acorns…for some reason I didn’t think we had them here in oz! Love what you did with them….and the idea of collecting!
My girls are loving collecting stones and flowers at the moment!
I think Oak trees like the cold… which is why we have loads them down here! And probably why you never see them were you are., you lucky thing… I hate the cold :)
I love those acorn caps jewels!
And so true, I loved to collect acorns and chestnuts when I was still a child. We poked wooden toothpicks or skewers in the chestnuts and used yarn to make spider webs little spiders. (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-K5LA9QvmKd4/TmoWJ9d2PuI/AAAAAAAAAes/vU3e5SwS1CA/s1600/kastanje-5.png)
I used to collect rocks… yes rocks. Then when my family moved… they for some reason did not make it on the moving truck… hmmm, wonder if my mother had something to do with that. lol.
Sue at Wub Boo Mummy says
We have an oak tree in our garden, and there’s also one at the kindergarten my kids go to. Despite having a ready supply of acorns at home, they love to collect the ones at kindy to give to me as a present. We love making little people out of them.
I love the idea of making acorn cap jewels. In fact I might suggest they do that at kindy today using the wonderful metallic paints they have there.
Oh we collect and collect and collect… and it is acorn season here as well!!! Here is our acorn world from a wild back: http://www.se7en.org.za/2010/01/15/se7en-make-a-mini-world-from-streamers-and-acorns
Christie-Childhood 101 says
Oooh, I want some acorns :) Don’t s’pose the kids want to collect some to send me? LOL
JDaniel4's Mom says
My son loves to collect things outside. We have started an outdoor science table to display his finds.
Linda @ M&As World says
We have a bag of acorns at our place too. The kids had a ball collecting them with their friends, and like you said there was loads of teamwork going on.
in primary school i would grate each end of the acorn down using the concrete, push the middle out with a stick and give them to my friends as friend ship rings, they were fashionable back then and my fellow students would pay me in acorns to make them rings!
So funny to come across this a week after my girls and I (ages 4 and 7) just collected a bunch of acorns on our walk. We plan to make a home made board game with them. They will be what you collect during the game. We will make squirrel characters for the player pieces and call it “Squirrel Town!”
I agree collecting stuff is fun and educational kids, but I think we have to be careful about teaching them to forage for things in the wild. There are certain things like acorns that wildlife depend on to survive. It also prevents new trees from potentially growing when you take acorns home.
That’s a good point, but it’s not an issue for us here in Australia with acorns as they are not an native tree so none of our native animals eat them, and they don’t tend to regrow naturally. As with everything I think assessing your own personal situation and area is important, and only collecting a few so you leave many for others and to regrow.