Invite children to learn about squirrels with this list of fun facts, activities, squirrel-themed teaching ideas, cute squirrel crafts, and song ideas for kids! (First published September 22, 2020; this post is updated and republished to improve the content.)
Share fun squirrel facts, and invite children from toddlers to teens to learn about squirrels with this list of educational squirrel activities and crafts for kids. Like bird watching, observing squirrels and learning more about them is a fun outdoor educational activity for kids and adults of all ages.
Learning about squirrels and observing some of their quirky behaviors is an activity that children and adults can enjoy together. So, if your preschoolers, kindergarteners, or school-aged children are asking questions about squirrels–follow the lead in their education with these fun squirrel activities and learning ideas for use at home or in the classroom. You may also enjoy this fun list of outside activities for kids.
Fun and Educational Squirrel Activities for Kids
Have you ever wondered about squirrels and their nutty behaviors? Helping children learn about the animals that interest them, such as squirrels, is a great way to make learning fun! In this informative article, we will explore a list of squirrel activity ideas for kids, and learn about the different types of squirrels that live in the wild. Along with a slew of other interesting facts about squirrels.
The list of squirrel activity ideas below offers a dynamic blend of fun and educational ways to captivate the imagination while fostering valuable learning experiences. By intertwining play and learning, squirrel activities nurture a love for nature and cultivate important skills and a sense of wonder that lasts a lifetime.
We hope you enjoy this informative list of squirrel-themed activities. Use this list of squirrel activity ideas to help toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners, and school-aged kids learn about these silly little rodents starting with some advice from a squirrel:
1. Share Nutty Squirrel Facts with Kids
Here’s a fun squirrel activity for kids of all ages. Share fun and interesting squirrel facts with them. Here’s a fun squirrel fact to get you started:
Did you know that one of the squirrels’ most important jobs is to forget where they store every nut for the winter? Squirrels love to dig empty holes and cover them with leaves and twigs to trick other animals and protect their food stores. The only problem with this quirky squirrel behavior is actually their greatest asset. The forgotten nuts have helped to reforest parks and natural areas across the globe!
We have even more fun squirrel facts listed below. Please share these exciting facts about squirrels with children to help them learn more about them.
More Fun Facts About Squirrels:
- Squirrels are mammals; they are warm-blooded, and covered in fur, and females give birth to litters of live young.
- They are members of the family Sciuridae and are considered small to medium-sized rodents.
- There are three primary types of squirrels; tree squirrels, ground squirrels (including chipmunks, prairie dogs, and groundhogs), and flying squirrels. Learn more about the types of squirrels and the differences between each species in this informative squirrel guide.
- Even though squirrels are primarily herbivores, they are omnivores because they eat plants and animals. Their diet includes nuts, seeds, fruits, plants, sap, fungus, insects, bird eggs, etc. Learn more about a squirrel’s diet, habits, and other exciting facts on Live Science.
- Squirrels are incredibly active and playful animals. A group or pack of squirrels is called a scurry or a dray, and they often chase each other to prove their strength and dominance. Invite children to look at THIS animal answer guide to learn more fun facts about squirrels!
- Squirrels communicate through chirps, barks, screams, purrs, and body language, such as twitching their tails. Learn more about common squirrel behaviors in the section that follows.
- A squirrel’s nest is called a “drey.” It is a remarkable feat of nature’s engineering nestled high in a tree top. Constructed primarily from twigs, leaves, and other natural materials, a cozy leaf nest offers protection from the elements and predators.
- For a fun twist on squirrel facts delivered in an insightfully humorous way, invite children to enjoy “What Squirrels Can Teach Us About Being Human” by Owlcation.
2. Observe Common Squirrel Activities and Behaviors
Here’s another fun squirrel activity for kids. Did you know that squirrels are one of the most-watched mammals on Earth!? Observing different types of squirrels in their natural habitats and engaging in common activities and behaviors is a great way to learn even more amazing facts about squirrels.
What hours are squirrels active?
Squirrels are diurnal. This means that they romp, play, and gather food during the day while they primarily rest at night. This is especially so during the spring and fall when they are most actively in search of food. Although they can be observed all day, they are most active in the mornings and evenings. So the best time to spot them engaging in their nutty behaviors is at dusk and dawn.
What is a squirrel’s daily routine?
A squirrel’s daily routine is a bustling symphony of energy and instinct. As the sun rises, these agile creatures embark on a mission to forage for sustenance. They scurry along branches and dart across open spaces with boundless enthusiasm, searching for nuts, seeds, and fruits to fuel their day. Their keen senses guide them to hidden stashes, a testament to their remarkable memory and resourcefulness.
When not on the hunt for food, squirrels engage in playful antics, leaping from limb to limb and performing daring acrobatics that showcase their incredible agility. Periods of grooming and rest punctuate their day, ensuring their fur stays clean and their bodies rejuvenated for tomorrow’s adventures. During midday, they can often be spotted resting on a branch or in their dens depending on the weather. Observing a squirrel’s daily routine is a reminder of the vitality and harmony that nature weaves into even the smallest corners of our world.
What are the activities of a squirrel?
Squirrels are boisterous, loud, and highly vocal. They love to chirp, chatter, scream, purr, and bark to communicate with each other and often chatter their teeth as a warning. Squirrels are also known to communicate with body language by stomping their feet and moving their tails in a series of twitches to communicate.
Squirrels also use their tails to help them balance as they scurry across wires and jump from tree limb to limb and from tree limb to rooftop. When they fall, they use their fluffy tails as parachutes, and this is why squirrels are known to survive falls from a great height.
My daughter and I enjoy watching the tree squirrels romp and play in our backyard and at the local park. We often hear them churring and chatterboxing; and see them collecting nuts, chasing each other from tree limb to tree limb, and zigging and zagging to avoid predators.
Are squirrels active in the winter, or do they hibernate?
Squirrels are generally active throughout the year, including during the winter months. Unlike other animals that hibernate, squirrels do not enter a state of prolonged dormancy. Instead, they are quite active, though their behavior may change in response to the colder weather and scarcity of food. Squirrels’ fur also becomes thicker during winter, providing additional insulation against the cold.
When winter’s chill descends, squirrels unveil a masterclass in survival and adaptation. As the world around them transforms into a frosty wonderland, these resourceful creatures employ a series of ingenious strategies to thrive. Starting in August, months before the cold sets in, they embark on a frenzied quest to gather and cache a bounty of nuts and seeds, meticulously burying them in various locations. This larder, cleverly hidden beneath layers of snow, serves as their life-saving pantry during leaner times.
During the winter, squirrels rely on the food they’ve stored during more abundant seasons. In the wintertime, squirrels can be seen foraging for their cached nuts and seeds or searching for other food sources such as tree buds or leftover fruits. Squirrels exhibit an incredible ability to navigate through snowy landscapes, guided by memory and scent to retrieve their buried treasures. They remember the locations of their cached food and this allows them to retrieve it even when the ground is covered in snow.
To stay warm, they huddle in their nests, often sharing these cozy shelters with fellow squirrels for communal heat. While they don’t hibernate, squirrels exhibit decreased activity during the coldest parts of winter. And they may spend more time in their nests, conserving energy and staying warm depending on the climate.
If watching squirrels is something your children enjoy, try this fun squirrel activity:
- First, observe squirrel behaviors in your backyard, park, or natural habitat.
- Next, invite children to pay close attention to the tree squirrel behaviors they notice.
- Then count the number of times they see the common squirrel behaviors on the Printable Squirrel Behavior Tally Sheet in the Rhythms of Play Learning Center.
Common Squirrel Activities and Behaviors:
Ranger Rick has an article sharing a few squirrel behaviors you might notice in your neck of the woods:
- Cleaver Climbing
- Chasing and Racing
- Busy Building
- Zigging and Zagging
- Daring Dining
- Chatter Boxing
We have thought of even more quirky squirrel activities and behaviors to look for in our printable squirrel observation activity for kids. Invite children to observe squirrel behaviors and count the number of times they notice the nutty things they do with our fun squirrel printable!
3. Learn How to Identify Squirrels
Another fun squirrel activity that makes it easy to learn about squirrels is to practice identifying them, especially if you have a few different types of squirrels living in your local area. Invite children to practice identifying different species of squirrels, such as fox squirrels, eastern gray squirrels, red squirrels, woodchucks, etc., in the backyard, schoolyard, park, or out in nature.
Learn how to identify squirrels, rabbits, and chipmunks with THIS fun take-along field guide for kids. Or, look up mammals in Reader’s Digest’s comprehensive Wildlife Guide with over 2,000 plants and animals in North America. Don’t forget to write down all the different types or species of squirrels you see, if any, in your nature journal.
4. Record Squirrel Observations in a Nature Journal or Notebook
As mentioned above, one of our favorite outdoor activities is observing squirrels, birds, and other local wildlife in our backyard, local park, and in their natural habitats. After we complete this fun activity, we like to record the types of squirrels we identify, the number of squirrels we see, and what we see them doing.
- Invite children to watch squirrels in the backyard, schoolyard, neighborhood, park, or nature.
- Record your observations in your nature journal.
- Come back here and let us know about anything fun or exciting you observed or discovered in the comments below!
5. Read Squirrel Books
Reading books about squirrels is a fun squirrel activity for kids. If you’d like to learn more about squirrels, invite children to look at this list of excellent squirrel books filled with hilarious photos of their antics and fun facts about squirrels for kids.
My daughter and I looked through several books about squirrels to curate this list for you and your children to enjoy. Please share any of these informative guides and popular books about squirrels for kids with children at home or in the classroom to help them learn more about squirrels.
Educational Books and Guides about Squirrels:
- Rabbits, Squirrels, and Chipmunks Take-Along Guide
- Squirrels: The Animal Answer Guide (The Animal Answer Guides: Q&A for the Curious Naturalist)
Picture Books about Squirrels for Kids:
- “Bob Ross and Pea Pod the Squirrel” is a charming tale where Bob paints an actual Ross painting.
- “The Busy Little Squirrel” shares the beauty of the fall season and features country animals, pumpkins, leaves, apples, and other signs of autumn.
- “Nuts to You” is a fantastic book about a mischievous squirrel looking for food. The simple rhythmic text and colorful illustrations make it an excellent squirrel book for young children.
- “The Secret Life of Squirrels” is a fun photographic story featuring wild squirrels in homemade miniature domestic settings that will surprise and amuse readers and animal lovers of all ages!
- The “Scardy Squirrel” Book Series by Melanie Watt offers several fun and informative stories to keep children entertained from pre-k and up. Get the first book in this nutty series–>HERE.
6. Enjoy Looking at Amazing Photographs of Squirrels
Here’s a fun squirrel activity for kids and adults of all ages. Everyone can enjoy the fantastic gallery of cute photographs of red squirrels by Geert Weggen Photography. His award-winning squirrel photographs are published in newspapers, books, calendars, magazines, websites, and television programs and have won the adoration of squirrel friends and foes worldwide.
One of his squirrel pictures appears below. Click HERE to see more of his famous pictures of squirrels and learn how he crafts his tiny sets and props to take photos of his many red squirrel friends.
7. Take Pictures of Squirrels
Here’s another squirrel activity that kids and adults can enjoy. Taking pictures of an animal is a great way to learn more about it, and squirrels are no exception. My daughter and I did our best to take photos of our California Grey Squirrel friend, “Nutz.”
In the few years we spent observing her, we watched her collect and store nuts, eat our apples, constantly argue with our dog, steal from our bird feeder, and graciously accept the nuts we gave her and bear kits.
Unfortunately, we were not able to catch many photos. We have yet to develop the talent to photograph squirrels like the famous red squirrel photographs by Geer Weggen, but it sure was fun to try!
8. Learn How to Draw a Squirrel
Learning to draw squirrels is a fun squirrel activity and a great way to learn more about them. We have listed a few excellent “how to draw” resources and fun squirrel art project ideas perfect for kids from toddlers to teens.
Below the list of squirrel drawing resources is a fantastic video by Harriet Muller Art that shows how to draw a squirrel. Or, try this lovely squirrel coloring page by RedTedArt.
- Consider investing in a copy of “Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling” to help children (or adults) learn how to draw animals and plants of different varieties. Or, try “Learn to Draw Forrest Animals and Wildlife.”
- We Draw Animals has several “How to Draw a Squirrel” video tutorials, including THIS one, that kids and adults of all ages can try.
- You can find more fun “how to draw a squirrel” tutorials–> HERE on How 2 Draw Animals and–> HERE on Art Projects for Kids.
- Free Video: How to Draw a Squirrel for Kids |Amazon Prime
9. Make Squirrel Crafts
Make any of the cute squirrel craft ideas for kids. Crafting these much-loved silly little rodents is a fun squirrel activity and an excellent way for kids to learn more about squirrels.
10 Squirrel Craft Ideas and Handwork Projects for Kids:
- Invite the kids to try this cute squirrel craft inspired by the children’s book “Nuts to You” by Buggy and Buddy.
- Find the squirrel in THIS fantastic collection of pipe cleaner crafts by All Free Kids Crafts.
- Draw a squirrel in a tree, and collect natural materials to make adorable squirrel nature crafts with leaves like THIS one by LeapFrog.
- Use a dixie cup to make this cute squirrel craft by The Pinterested Parent.
- Have this little squirrel run around on a paper plate with this interactive squirrel and acorn craft by The Joy of Sharing.
- Make squirrels from recycled egg cartons with this simple squirrel craft idea originally by Family Fun and made into a game by Pest World for Kids.
- Invite the kids to make squirrel puppets that can be used for storytime fun and pretend or imaginative play with this craft tutorial by Ruffles and Rainboots.
- Turn an old mitten or glove into a squirrel with this fun recycled squirrel craft idea by Cashmerette.
- Try knitting a life-like pet squirrel with this adorable knitting project by CraftBits.
- Try any of these cute squirrel craft ideas and activities for kids by DLTK’s Growing Together.
10. Create a Squirrel Learning Center
Another fun squirrel activity idea is to create a nature table or science learning center dedicated to squirrels. A nature table is a shelf or table used to place items from nature or represent something found in nature, such as a particular species of plant or animal, to learn more about it.
A squirrel nature table would be a table or shelf dedicated to squirrels. If you choose this option, feel free to display the following; squirrel crafts that your kids make, squirrel books or field guides, and other related squirrel toys or educational materials about squirrels.
We like to make a nature table every season in our home and regularly change the contents displayed on it throughout the year. Creating a nature table or science learning center dedicated to squirrels is a great way to learn more about them. Click HERE to learn more about the simple squirrel learning center pictured below.
11. Make a Squirrel Sensory Bin
Have fun putting together a squirrel sensory bin. There are many different ways to do this squirrel activity. For example, you can make a sensory bin instead of a nature table or science learning center. Use the ideas discussed in the section above, or use THESE instructions to create an “Acorns Everywhere” sensory bin for kids like the one by I Heart Crafty Things in the photograph below.
12. Invite Children to Play Squirrel Learning Games for Kids
Here’s a simple squirrel activity for kids. Learn more about squirrels and their silly behaviors by playing any fun squirrel games listed below.
- Educational Insights The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Toddler & Preschool Board Game
- The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Card Game
- Find the acorns in this simple printable sight word game inspired by the children’s book Scaredy Squirrel by Artsy Momma.
- Make THIS squirrel craft from recycled materials and play the easy squirrel game suggested.
13. Make a Squirrel Feeder
Make a squirrel feeder, if you dare, with THIS fun book-inspired squirrel activity by Fun Learning for Kids. The idea is simple, make a squirrel feeder and put nuts in it, just like in the children’s story “Nuts to You!” by Lois Ehlert. If you try this activity, please make sure that the food placed inside the feeder is safe for squirrels or other wildlife that may happen upon it to eat. Some ideas to fill your feeder include beechnuts, hickory nuts, walnuts, and berries.
14. Learn Squirrel Songs, Poems, and Fingerplays
Learning squirrel songs, poems, and fingerplays are fantastic squirrel-themed activities for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners. We have found a few cute squirrel fingerplays you can try with your kids at home or in the classroom.
Toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners love to hear these squirrel poems and songs and learn how to perform them as fingerplays. The Grey Squirrel and the Whiskey Frisky Squirrel songs are below, while a video of how to perform the Whiskey Friskey Squirrel as fingerplay is underneath it.
Gray squirrel, gray squirrel, swish your bushy tail. Gray Squirrel, gray squirrel swish your busy tail. Wrinkle up your funny nose, Hold a nut between your toes. Gray Squirrel, gray squirrel, swish your busy tail!
Learn how to perform Grey Squirrel as a fingerplay HERE!
The Whisky Frisky Squirrel
Whisky, frisky, Hippity hop; Up he goes To the tree-top! Whirly, twirly, Round and round; Down he scampers To the ground. Furly, curly, What a tail! Tall as a feather, Broad as a sail! Where's his supper? In the shell; Snappy, cracky, Out it fell!
15. Squirrel Printable Learning Activity Ideas and Educational Resources
Download and print any printable squirrel learning activities and resources, and put them in your children’s nature journals to help kids learn more about squirrels.
- First, visit the Rhythms of Play Learning Center to download and print the Squirrel Behavior Tally Sheet. Next, count the number of times you notice the typical squirrel behaviors on the list with this fun outdoor learning activity for kids.
- Head over to Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids to grab the printable squirrel learning activities they have available. On their website, you can find “Squirrel Alphabet Cards,” “Squirrel CVC Word Cards, “Squirrel Math Activities,” and even “Squirrels of North America Montessori 3 Part Cards!”
- Have a look at the Squirrel Lifecycle Activities and Cards put together by Welcome to Mommyhood.
- Invite the kids to help the squirrel find his nuts with THIS fun squirrel maze activity by Education.
- Check out the fun squirrel activities and printable resources found on Kidsparkz.
More Outside Activities for Kids
- Outdoor Learning and Nature Activities for Kids
- How to Make and Keep a Nature Journal or Notebook
- Nature Study for Kids
- Birding for Kids: Birdwatching Activities and Lessons
- How to Skip a Rock: The Art and Science of Skipping Stones
- Shadow Activities for Kids