Chipmunks and squirrels are pretty fast moving. However, we took a leisurely pace with this nature study, enjoying it here and there over the last couple of weeks. Mentioning it while we were outside. Being reminded of it when we saw a squirrel. Squirrels we know plenty about. They frequent our feeder and dart across the tree-lined roads.
However, when we think of chipmunks, we think of Mama Ann’s yard. Mama Ann is known for feeding birds. News of the abundance of bird seed has spread in the chipmunk community. So, of course we headed over to Mama Ann’s for a visit and to see if we could spot chipmunks! We’ve seen chipmunks grab some prize fallen seed before. However, this time, all the children running around kept the chipmunks away.
Also, over this last week, Eldest Boy and Littlest Girl worked together on a Chipmunk/Squirrel lapbook from Homeschool Share (also pictured at top). The link was provided in the More Nature Study ebook. The little flaps are great visual prompts for more research and learning. Plus, lapbooks are not just for younger children. I’ve found that the topics are wonderful jumping off places for my older ones. (Plus a fun project for brothers and sisters to enjoy together).
Me? I had no idea chipmunks were considered a ground squirrel. I knew they ran around on the ground but I’ve never thought of chipmunks as squirrels. But, the more we studied, the more it made sense. They make their homes in the ground
Other interest things we learned and discussed:
- when chipmunks dig their homes, they put the extra dirt in the cheek pouches to carry it out (paraphrase from Handbook of Nature Study).
- chipmunks build their homes in the ground. Squirrels build nests in the trees.
- Middle Girl has spotted chipmunks running about in our backyard and thinks she knows where the burrow is.
- We definitely see many more squirrels than chipmunks.
- Eldest boy says he read that chipmunks also eat insects while squirrels stick to seeds and nuts.
Another afternoon we enjoyed the notebook and coloring pages from Handbook of Nature Study.
How about you? Do you see more chipmunks or squirrels around you?