The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game
The game features a hungry squirrel who is preparing for winter by collecting his acorns. The object is to have your students help the squirrel forage for food by filling the "log" (see the picture below) with tasty acorns.
The empty logs
How to play:
1. Place all of the acorns inside the tree (see below)
2. Give each player his or her own log.
3. Pass the squirrel spinner (see below) to the youngest player and let him or her spin.
The Squirrel Spinner
4. Once the student spins, he/she would follow the directions.
- If the wheel stops on a color (green, yellow, purple, red, or blue), then the student would grab a matching acorn from the tree using the squirrel squeezer (see below) and place it in the hole in his/her log with the matching color. If the hole is already full, the student would skip his/her turn.
- If the spinner stops on 1 acorn, the student would choose any acorn from the tree and use the squirrel squeezer to place it in the hole in the log with the matching color.
- If the spinner stops on 2 acorns, the student would choose any two acorns from the tree and use the squirrel squeezer to place them in the hole in the log with the matching color.
- If the spinner lands on the sneaky squirrel (the squirrel holding the acorn), then the student would steal any colored acorn that he or she needs from another player's log.
- If the spinner lands on the sad squirrel, then the student skips his/her turn and passes the squirrel squeezer to the next player.
- If the spinner lands on the squirrel storm, then the student has to put back all of his/her acorns on the tree and skip his/her turn.
The Squirrel Squeezer
5. The player who fills his/her log with all of the matching acorns first is the winner!
The benefits of this game:
Helps preschoolers with matching skills, developing fine motor skills including pre-handwriting skills because the squirrel squeezer requires a pincher grasp, developing social skills like taking turns and being a good sport, as well as strategic thinking skills.
The spinner can get quite complicated, and I found myself having to reference the cheat sheet frequently during the first play. After a few games the students will get used to it. It just seems a bit complicated at first.
The game can go either really fast or really slow. It depends a lot on the spinner. The fact that there is no specific time length makes it more difficult to plan (although I suppose if it is a quick game then you can just play again).
Overall, I really like this game. I can see using it a lot as a reinforcer game while targeting goals. You could even use the game to target language and articulation goals. You could ask a lot of WH-questions during this game, some predicting ("why do you think the squirrel needs to collect acorns?"; "what would happen if he didn't collect acorns?"), describing (describe the acorns, the squirrel, the tree), expanding language ("the squirrel is eating the acorn"; "eat the acorn"; "green acorn").