Is it a challenge to get your kids to settle down long enough to sit through a story or arts and crafts activity? Nutkin is here to help! This cheerful squirrel puppet is a surefire way to get your kids to quiet down. And the best part? Nutkin also helps boost kids' auditory discrimination skills as they listen for him to appear and say hello.
What You Need:
- Potato chip canister (such as a Pringles can) or similar can with a lid
- Brown and gray construction paper
- Assorted nuts
- Popsicle stick
What You Do:
- Cover the can with brown paper to resemble a tree trunk.
- Put a handful of nuts in the bottom of the can.
- Draw and cut out a squirrel from the gray construction paper and tape it to the end of the popsicle stick.
- Place the squirrel puppet in the can with the nuts and put on the lid.
- Now gather the kids together for a story. As they sit down, hold up the can and say, “I wonder if Nutkin is home. If you're quiet maybe you can hear him rattling his nuts.”
- Shake the can to rattle the nuts inside.
- When all the kids are focused, slowly pull the little squirrel puppet out and let him introduce the activity you have planned or narrate the story you want to read.
Try extending this activity by hiding nuts on the playground and having the kids hunt for them, pretending they're squirrels, or use the nuts in the can for a counting activity.