It’s squirrel season.
You hear them chattering up a storm; see them scampering along branches as they collect nuts… And at our house, on the weekends, see them up close and personal when OneDaddy goes hunting in the morning.
It just makes sense that my animal-loving kids are nuts about squirrels right now.
So when I stumbled upon Hello, Squirrels! at the library, I couldn’t resist bringing it home so we could learn all about what squirrels do each season.
The kids loved seeing the beautiful drawings of pink baby squirrels and watching them grow up as we turned the pages and the seasons changed from spring all the way to winter.
After reading the book several times (a must around here with any new book), we were ready to pretend to be squirrels.
First we built a nest with the leaves that have fallen so far. The book shows how the nests are made with sticks and leaves in the crooks of tree branches. Monkey tried to recreate that on a big rock…
After a little break from all their hard work (wait a minute… that was ME raking most of those leaves…), the “squirrels” went to find the nuts they had buried earlier…
The night before our squirrel fun, I had each of them bury an acorn in an egg carton. The goal was to see if they could remember which space they had buried their nut, just like real squirrels have to find their buried acorns in the winter. My almost 5 year-old found hers right away. It took the 3 year-old a couple tries to remember which hole he had hidden his acorn in. Once they found their acorns, they had fun burying them and digging them up over and over…. (A cookie sheet under the egg carton kept the mess to a minimum.)
We also talked about what happens to all those acorns the squirrels don’t find during the winter. I’m thinking we are going to have to plant a few acorns of our own to see if they will pop up as seedlings next spring!
And to end our squirrel festivities we colored a few simple squirrel pictures I had printed off the Internet. By that time my little squirrels were ready to be free, just like the baby squirrels in the book who eventually left the nest to do their own thing.