Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Season for Squirrels

We have a resident squirrel who lives in the tree outside of my oldest son's window. My boys named him Sassy Pants. He's a bold little guy who is not afraid to get up close to check out the kids (and likely sniff the peanut butter that is always smudged somewhere on their bodies.)

Fall is here, and it seems that no matter where we look, we see squirrels busily scurrying around for nuts, playing chase across the yards, (and running across the streets nearly giving me a panic attack every time one runs into the road in front of my car.)

So at a recent visit to the library, with Sassy Pants in mind, we decided to check out some squirrel books.

Book: Nuts to You! by Lois Ehlert
In this book, a rascally squirrel is up to some tricks. He sneaks through an apartment window, but then it takes some nuts to motivate him to go back outside. The classic Ehlert illustrative style is perfect for this book. She identifies plants, birds, insects and includes facts about squirrels at the back of the book.

Activity:  Fluffy Tail Pictures

After reading the book, the first thing we did was take a handful of nuts and place them outside my son's window. We then watched happily to see Sassy come and devour them right away. Feeding squirrels isn't something that will be a habit in our household, but just this once, it was pretty satisfying.

Fluffy Tail Pictures:
I pulled some fluffy plumes from some tall grasses growing in front of our house (maybe pampas grass?) that provided inspiration to make a picture of a squirrel with a fluffy tail. I glanced at the squirrel in Ehlert's book and just drew a very basic squirrel outline in pencil. (You could also find a coloring page online and print it out.) I gave it to my son with a set of watercolors, and he was happy to paint it to his liking. Then, he glued the grass plumes on, and he ended up with a very cute piece of art.

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