Nuts for the Winter

Chipper adds his nuts under a scarf!

Chipper adds his nuts under a scarf!

Here’s a fun song for early winter, when small animals are out gathering their provisions. I use a stuffed squirrel named “Chipper,” and explain that Chipper needs to hide his store of nuts so he’ll know where they are all winter long.

This interactive song is also fun for counting and addition.

I spread out a scarf on the floor and tell the children that underneath the scarf is the hiding place. I give each child one or two “nuts.” Usually I use shaker eggs, so they double as an instrument for the song.

You can have a discussion about what squirrels eat, and the different types of nuts and seeds that might be around your area. When I first did the song, I brought in real acorns. This was fine until the day I discovered little white worms had taken up residence inside some of them, and there they were, wiggling around. Yikes! If you want the real thing, a package of mixed nuts in their shells might be better. You can hear a very basic recording of this song here.

Here are the lyrics:

The squirrel is looking for nuts for the winter,

The squirrel is looking, looking all around.

He needs one nut to store for the winter,

One nut to put under the ground.

(Ask one child to put a nut under the scarf.)

Fiddle-ee-dee, fiddle-ee-dow

He’s got one nut under the ground.


Spoken: But this time, Chipper needs more nuts to store away. 

The squirrel is looking for nuts for the winter,

The squirrel is looking, looking all around.

He needs two nuts to store for the winter,

Two nuts to put under the ground.

(Choose two children put nuts under the scarf. Ask one of the children to count how many nuts in all are under the ground now.)

Fiddle-ee-dee, fiddle-ee-dow

He’s got three nuts under the ground.


In the next round, Chipper needs three nuts; so again, choose three children. They’ll count up a total of six nuts under the scarf. Then four children will offer nuts on the next verse, counting up to a total of 10, and so on.

I often go up to six nuts to put under the ground, even if I have to add a few myself or give everybody two. This activity provides an opportunity to ask children to tell you the next number of nuts that will be added, and to estimate how many are under the ground. It’s also a good lesson in counting correctly. Many times, young children lose count when numbers go higher than three or four. This song offers a chance to show helpful techniques to assure the total isn’t over or under-counted.

In case you missed it, I have another post about animals preparing for winter, paired with the book Frederick. Have fun singing all winter!


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