Every year I like to take my class out for a nature walk to observe the signs of fall. On these walks, we often come across a busy squirrel or two. This provides the perfect teaching opportunity about why squirrels gather and store nuts and seeds for the approaching winter. To extend this lesson I developed this entertaining counting game which teaches number sense.
Line the squirrels up in a row, and provide the children with a pile of acorns. Then instruct them to place the correct number of acorns (the amount that corresponds to the number on the squirrel’s tail) in the cup. As children pick up and place each acorn, have them state the correct number. In doing so, they will strengthen their one-to one-correspondence skills. When all the acorns have been correctly placed, ask the students if they would like to count all the squirrels. This will increase their ability to count to 10 in an accurate sequence.
This game also helps to strengthen fine motor skills. As an added challenge, tweezers and tongs can be used to pick up the acorns.
I have found this activity to be very popular with the majority of my class. I hope that you find that your students enjoy it as well.