Inside: One of our favorite fall science activities involves learning about squirrels and acorns. Our preschoolers see squirrels in the play yard often, so they are naturally curious why they are carrying acorns everywhere. A fun addition to the fall theme!
We love to explore science year-round, but there is something special about fall.
We start the school year with magnets, then move onto sunflowers.
During the third week of school, the squirrels and acorns are very visible outdoors. We see squirrels scampering across our play yard with acorns in their mouths. We are curious as to why they are carrying these acorns, and where are they going?
We came up with a hands-on way to explore squirrels and acorns that is very inviting to young children.
Learning About Squirrels and Acorns with Preschoolers
We got a new-to-us round table that is perfect for a science exploration center! In the past we’ve used the top of a shelf for our science displays, and it worked well. However, my co-teacher and I really wanted a science spot where our toddlers and preschoolers could sit and explore, with more room for hands-on exploration.
A week before school started, my co-teacher’s mother found a small round table at Goodwill and asked if we could use it. After moving a few pieces around while setting up the classroom for back-to-school, we knew this little table would be perfect for our science center.
Setting up the science table to learn more about acorns and squirrels:
Note – This activity was only for our preschoolers, not our toddlers, as the acorns are too small and would go into their mouths.
I started by walking around the parking lot of the church that our preschool resides in. I picked up some oak leaves, pinecones, and acorns.
I added some wood bowls to hold the materials at the table, and added some tree blocks.
I found photos online and added text, displaying them in plexiglass page holders. I also had cut a photo of a squirrel out of a nature magazine and laminated it.
I could not find our plush squirrel that we have used for many years, so I went on Amazon and found this little guy. I love how he is holding a nut in his mouth, just like the squirrels we have seen outside.
For some fine motor fun, an acorn ice tray was also added to the table. I love the 1:1 correspondence taking place! (Note: I think I found the ice tray at a dollar store, but honestly cannot recall.)
More acorn and squirrel ideas:
- Acorn Sensory Bin (I Heart Crafty Things)
- 5 Little Acorns Stick Puppet Chant (The Preschool Toolbox)
- Acorn Tissue Paper Art (Nuttin’ But Preschool)
- Acorn and Squirrel Counting Activity (School Time Snippets)
Check out our favorite science toys and materials:
More fun fall ideas:
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