Saturday, September 20, 2014

Keep kids high on hiking: Acorn Tops

Acorns collected on the trail make for great toy tops. Courtesy of Photoree.
Once you’ve completed your first hike, pat yourself on the back. You’ve done a lot of work but have taken the first step into a larger world for both you and your children.

To keep kid’s enthusiasm charged, “review” the hike in kid-friendly ways. While you really can’t do this with infants, most toddlers and older kids will enjoy it. One post-hike game/activity you might consider during autumn is Acorn Tops.

During the hike, have children each collect a half-dozen acorns. The acorns should be symmetrical and unbroken. Then have children collect twigs that are sturdy and straight for an inch of their length.

Once home, remove an acorn’s crown. Gently pound a nail that is slightly smaller than the twig about a quarter inch into the top of the acorn. Trim the twigs so they are about an inch long and straight. Replace the nail with the twig. The acorn now can be used as a top. Repeat as needed.

Children can decorate their acorns with enamel paint.

Materials: Acorns collected on hike, twigs, hammer, nail, enamel paint (if desired)

Ages: 3-12

Learn about more than a hundred other hiking diversions for kids in Hikes with Tykes: Games and Activities.