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Nuts for Squirrels: Teaching Preschoolers With Fun Activities

written by: lhunsicker • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 9/17/2013

This lesson plan is about squirrels and assorted nuts. The children are counting, graphing, and even painting with nuts! There are learning about different types of squirrels and where they live as well.

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    Squirrel Lesson & Activities for Preschool Learning about squirrels is fun whether it is spring, summer, winter or fall! There are many fun activities you can pursue with the squirrel lesson plans for the preschool classroom.

    Circle Time Questions for Discussion

    Use these questions to determine how much your students already know about squirrels before beginning your squirrel lesson plans:

    1. Do squirrels crack nuts?
    2. Is it as hard for a squirrel to crack nuts as it is for us?
    3. Do squirrels use nutcrackers?
    4. How do they do it? (Provide pictures if possible)
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    Songs to Use

    Squirrels

    Wisky, frisky, hippity, hop

    up he climbs to the tree top.

    Whirly, twirly, round and round

    down he scampers to the ground.

    Where's his supper?

    In a shell

    Snappy, cracky, out it fell.

    Squirrels-Songs

    Grey Squirrel, Grey Squirrel

    Shake your bushy tail

    Grey Squirrel Grey Squirrel

    Shake your bushy tail

    Wrinkle up your little nose

    Put it down between your toes

    Grey Squirrel, Grey Squirrel

    Shake your bushy tail

    (Each time gets faster and faster!)

    Five Little Squirrels - Original Author Unknown

    Five little squirrels with acorns to store.

    One went to sleep

    And then there were four!

    Four little squirrels hunting acorns in a tree.

    One fell down, and now there are three!

    Three little squirrels wondering what to do.

    One got lost, and now there are two!

    Two little squirrels tossing acorns for fun.

    One got tired, and now there is one!

    One little squirrel playing in the sun.

    He ran away, now there are none.

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    Stories for Read Aloud Time

    1. Squirrel is Hungry, by Satoshi Kitamura
    2. Squirrels, by Brian Wildsmith
    3. Welcome to the World of Squirrels, by Diane Swanson

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    Math

    For quick math activities to accompany your squirrel lesson plans, try counting and sorting nuts. In math group give each child a handful of nuts. Then ask the children to sort the nuts by shape (acorns in one pile, hickory in another) then ask them to count each pile then all together.

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    Language: Picture/ Word Match Activity

    Have words on a piece of paper: squirrel ( red, gray, brown); nuts; (acorns, walnut, hickory). Then have pictures of these pre cut out and have the children match the picture to the word by gluing them on. Please go over naming the pictures first before having the children begin work.

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    Classroom Library

    Before beginning your squirrel lesson plans, fill your library area with books about squirrels and nuts. Use nature magazines such as zoo books. Plus try to have videos available about all the different types of squirrels and nuts. Display posters and stuffed animals to decorate the area as well. This will encourage the kids to explore and learn more about squirrels, nuts, and their habitat.

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    Science Activities

    Painting with Nuts; children can paint with nuts in the same way they would paint with marble painting. Place paper in a box lid and then have the children scoop a nut from a color of paint place it on the paper and then make the box lid move around forcing the nut to roll around creating a painting. * throw away these nuts after painting with them.

    Introduce children to the flying squirrel through pictures, books, nature magazines, and maybe even a nature video. Talk about the importance of saving the homes of squirrels which are trees.

    Learning about Nuts: show children pictures or better yet show them real examples of and discuss the different kinds of nuts. Discuss; what is a chestnut? It is a nut we can eat that grows on a tree. What is a Buckeye? Buckeyes are similar to chestnuts and grow on trees. (But is not just the Ohio state football team, ha-ha) What are acorns? It is the nut of an Oak tree. What are Hickory Nuts? It is a small tan-colored nut again from a tree.

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    Arts and Crafts Activities

    Fluffy Tail Squirrel: give each child a squirrel cutout with a big fluffy tail if you have any old fur(craft) scraps they can glue this or any other fluffy like brown or gray collage material to the tail section of the cutout.

    Make Nutty Faces: Make nutty faces with shelled nuts and play dough.

    Nutty Prints: children can dip a variety of shelled nuts in paint and make prints. *make sure you throw them away after painting with them. Now obviously some nuts will work better than others for these projects. But that is part of learning allowing the children to experiment with the nuts and discovering this for themselves.

    Snack Time: Please make sure there are not any children in the class that has an allergy to nuts!

    Using a nut cracker go over some of the discussion questions about cracking open nuts.

    Have the children try a variety of nut and graph which ones are their favorites.

    Make a chart graph of the nuts you have and write the children’s names down then as they say which ones they like mark it with a color or color in the square completely. Then after snack ask the children which nut was the most popular.

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    Extend

    Your students will go nutty learning about squirrels with these squirrel lesson plans! To extend the lesson, try some of these squirrel activities:

    Harvest Lesson Plans

    Preschool Squirrel Activities

    Hibernation Crafts