It’s early November and the season is definitely changing, at least it is where I live in northern Vermont. It’s a good time to sing with children about how animals get ready for winter, using songs such as my “Nuts for the Winter,” which features my little stuffed squirrel, Chipper. Here is a video of the song. The lyrics are:
The squirrel is storing up nuts for the winter, the squirrel is looking, she’s looking all around! She finds one acorn to store for the winter, one acorn to put under the ground. Fiddle-ee-dee, Fiddle-ee-dow, she puts one acorn under the ground.
Repeat verse, but this time, the squirrel finds two walnuts! Then, after those are under the ground, you sing: Fiddle-ee-dee, Fiddle-ee-dow, how many nuts are under the ground? Then count with the children: the one acorn, plus the two walnuts – you’ve got 1-2-3. You can sing again, Fiddle-ee-dee, Fiddle-ee-dow, there are three nuts under the ground.
Verse 3: Same as above, with three pecans.
Verse 4: Same as above, with four almonds.
Verse 5: Same as above, with five hickory nuts.
In the video, I put together a felt-board equivalent with pictures of the nuts for the counting activity. You can make it more interactive by using shaker eggs to represent the nuts. You can give out different color eggs for each nut, so for instance, a blue egg could be the acorn, two red eggs could be walnuts, etc. When the squirrel finds a particular nut, the children with those eggs can be invited to come to the center of the circle and put their eggs under a scarf, representing the squirrel’s storage space under the ground.
Here is a link to more songs that you will enjoy singing with children all winter long, which includes a link to an earlier blog post about my squirrel song, with a more detailed description of the shaker egg activity. I like my updated version of the song (above) because it names specific kinds of nuts that the squirrel could gather. I enjoy giving children specific information, whether it’s the names of trees, flowers or nuts!