Concepts: Qu, the number 7, the color tan, and the square.
This week, Squirrels and Woodland Animals, your child can learn:
- A woods or forest is an area with lots of trees and bushes. It often has small rivers of water or a pond.
- Animals who live in the woods are called woodland animals.
- The most common woodland animals are rabbits, skunks, squirrels, deer, foxes, raccoons, opossums, chipmunks, turtles, bears, and birds.
- Small forest animals are frightened by loud noises and people.
- We should not pollute ponds and streams, as this hurts the animals who live there.
- We can sometimes see woodland animals if we are very quiet when we walk in the woods.
Watching squirrels can be so much fun! They scurry around, gathering nuts and burying them, getting into our bird feeders, and chattering away as though all the world were listening to them. To introduce this lesson, you might go for a walk with your child and look for squirrels. If it is late in the summer or early autumn, you might find them gathering acorns. Watch one for a while, and see if he eats the acorn, or carries it away to a tree. Tell your child how when winter comes, the squirrel will know where he buried his nuts (some of them, anyway!) and he’ll be able to eat them.
Hamsters Can Be Fun Pets
This would be a great week to get a pet hamster or gerbil, or borrow one from a friend. Visit the pet store and select the cage and supplies necessary. These furry little animals are fun to watch and easy to care for.
Preschoolers are too young to be responsible for the total care of a pet. They will need to be reminded often, and their actions monitors so they handle the pet with gentle hands. A preschooler can fill a pet dish with food, and may even be able to refill the water dish. They should not be expected to clean the cage, but they can hold and amuse the hamster while an adult or older sibling does the cleaning.
Worksheets for Preschoolers
I will be including worksheets in most of the lessons, which are optional. Some children may be ready for these types of “school” activities. I’m not a big fan of worksheets, and consider them “busy work”. But used in moderation, they can serve a purpose. If your child is not ready for pencil and paper activities, just ignore them.
Feeding the Wildlife
One day this week your child will make a simple squirrel feeder! Squirrels eat nuts, seeds, grain and fruit. Nuts is their favorite food, with sunflower seeds a close second. Unlike bird feeders, squirrel feeders are usually made to make it difficult to get the food. That’s because squirrels are so persistent, they will keep trying to figure out how to get the treats, while birds just fly away. Also, squirrels can be quite wasteful. They might empty a feeder in a day, burying much of what they’ve found.
Depending on where you live, you might find other wildlife you can feed. Farm supply stores often sell large sacks of cracked corn and elaborate dispensers that will drop a measured amount daily, so you can set it up a distance from your house and watch the wildlife through a window. You might see turkey, deer, skunk, rabbits, raccoons and more at your wildlife feeder. In some areas, however, it is not legal to feed the deer, as wildlife management attempts to contain the spread of chronic wasting disease.
Finally, you’ll end the week with reading Laura Numeroff’s popular book, “If you give a mouse a cookie”. That day you and your child can make a batch of your favorite cookies, and eat them with a glass of milk. Maybe you’ll even add a straw.
Five-Star Picture Books for Squirrels Week
- Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper
- Miss Suzy by Miriam Young
- Nuts to You! by Lois Ehlert
- The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri
- Those Darn Squirrels! by Adam Rubin
- Leaf Trouble by Jonathan Emmet
- Baby Animals of the Woodland Forest by Carmen Bredeson
- Woodland Creatures by Aunt L
- Fawn at Woodland Way (Smithsonian Backyard) by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld
- A Woodland Counting Book by Claudia McGehee
- Hamster (ASPCA Pet Care Guide) by Mark Evans
- Pet Hamsters by Jerome Wexler
- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
Quality Products for Squirrel Week (optional)
- Outside Sounds Listening Lotto
- ImagiPlay Earth Squirrel Family Puzzle
- Super Pet CritterTrail habitat
- Sarah Squirrel’s Great Adventure DVD
- Qu printing worksheet 1
- Counting worksheet
- Squares worksheet
- Squirrel Dot-to-Dot picture
- Squirrel coloring page
Preschool Lesson Plans:Squirrels and Woodland Animals
Tags: activities for kids, encouraging creativity, kids activities, Preschool, preschool activities, preschool lesson plans, squirrel activities, squirrels, squirrels and woodland animals, woodland animals