S is for Squirrel
Fall is almost here.... well we are ready for it to be here even if it is technically over a month away.
Even though it is pretty warm here in Mississippi, we are longing for Fall. With Fall comes the chance to enjoy nature and the outdoors a little more. With that comes the opportunity to observe wildlife. Besides the cows (we live close to a dairy farm), one of the creatures we have the opportunity to observe the most is squirrels.
"S is for Squirrel " Theme Day
I always try to start off activities with some music because Carrie loves to dance and thinks its funny when mom dances around with her. The things moms/teachers will do to help their "students"! Plus I have always been a strong proponent of kinesthetic learning. Any movement that is connected to a learning activity seems to help most younger learners AND it helps to keep the fidgeting at a minimum and increase focus.
The song we choose to start "S is for Squirrel" day is "Gray Squirrel Shake Your Busy Tail." If you aren't familiar with the song you can find the lyrics and other wonderful Squirrel printables at Natural Beach Living
After getting in some dance time, we read "Scaredy Squirrel" by Melanie West. We enjoyed it so much that we will definitely be reading some of the other books in the Scaredy Squirrel series.
Even after we read Scaredy Squirrel, I could tell Carrie wasn't ready to sit still. Capitalizing on her need to move, we did an activity which allowed us to move around some more. Kinesthetic learning for the win! We did the "I am a Squirrel" Action Rhyme from Preschool Powol Packs After this activity she was more ready to do more "school" as she calls it.
Carrie giggled watching mom act out the poem, but it helped get some of her energy out. We did it 3 times before we dove into a little more educational book to help start discussing the squirrel in more "scientific" (well for preschool level) terms. To do this we used, Squirrels from Curious Kids Press. While I usually try to use "real" books with Carrie, this activity day was somewhat spur of the moment so I was delighted to find it free on Kindle Unlimited (Only .99 for the Kindle download if you don't have KU). If you don't have Kindle Unlimited you can get it free for 30 days. Squirrels from Curious Kids Press was a relatively easy book for us to use. It would be great for older readers. Plus for older children it also includes some quiz questions. As a former teacher I love the reading comprehension check! In preparation for the S is a Squirrel Activity day I created a whole list of free books to use. Scroll to the bottom for a few of the ones I found.
Carrie sometimes likes to "read" but this wasn't the day when she was up for a lot of reading. We skipped anymore reading and I went back to an idea from the Natural Beach Living and we went outside to do an I-Spy activity. While the I-Spy from the printable was a worksheet, we turned it into an interactive/tactile I-Spy. I gathered items and had Carrie find the matching items. Then we counted the items and sorted them by size.
When we came back inside we utilized another free kindle unlimited book, Squirrels! Kids Look and Learn! The book does discuss the "mating habits" of Squirrels, but you can skip over that part if you are dealing with younger children or don't want to get into the topic of reproduction yet.
During snack time we watched a few videos:
1. Five Little Squirrels. Helps with counting 1-5
2. Squirrel Song - Animal Kid Songs: Good facts
After snack time we worked on the printables from Natural Beach Living. The printables had cutting practice, letter practice, tracing practice, matching practice and so much more! The colorful sheets also allow for color recognition and more! One of the things we need to really work on is proper pencil holding technique. We've tried a lot of different things. I'll be blogging so more about that in a little while.
Carrie and I have also been reading Autumn Song and doing some of the activities that are included in the wonderfully interactive book. While we read the book we have been watching the youtube videos included in the digital version. The videos with their seasonally themed music and activities dreaming of fall weather and all the fun activities that come along with it. The book is part of a series that features seasonal crafts and connections to nature for each season. I highly recommend it and wrote a review about it a few weeks ago. You can check it out here and there's even a giveaway for a kindle edition. The themes of the book help to inspire the activities and today's post.
All the below are either free kindle downloads or free via Kindle Unlimited. These are just a few. There are a lot more free/free for Kindle Unlimited available. Just search "Squirrel" select Books - Kindle and then sort by price.