Squirrel Tails

3-5 years
Child Development
Patience; turn taking
scarf or long piece of felt (to use as a squirrel tail) for each person
1 piece of chalk or tape to make a line
Physical Activity

Gross motor skills.

How to Play

1. Tuck a scarf or piece of felt about 30cm long in to the children’s pockets or waistbands.

2. Make a line on the ground using tape or sidewalk chalk, or use existing lines on the floor (i.e. patterns in between tiles) and encourage the children to balance on the line, putting one foot in front of the other, like they are squirrels balancing on a wire.

3. Encourage the children to cross the ‘wires’ faster and faster each time they go across, without “falling off” (if their feet take a step off the tape).

You can also try this rhyme with the children as you play this activity:

Five Little Squirrels – A Movement Rhyme

Five little squirrels sitting in a tree

The first one said, “What do I see?” (place hand to forehead, looking side to side)

The second one said, “Some nuts on the ground” (pointing to “nuts”)

The third one said, “Those nuts I found” (cross arms in frustration)

The fourth one said, “I’ll race you there” (run forward)

The Fifth one said, “All right, that’s fair” (shrug)

So they shook their tails and ran with glee

To the nuts that lay at the foot of the tree.

Change it up / Alternatives / Additional Options
  • Try walking around in a follow the leader style moving forwards, backwards, feet touching the line on each step.
  • Move slowly, move fast, lifting your knees up high, crouch down, zig zag
  • For a child with a visual impairment, provide a significantly different textured surface to walk along.
  • If you have a child with another type of disability not mentioned above, they may be able to participate in this activity without adaptations or modifications.

This activity aims to develop the fundamental movement skills of locomotion (walking) and balance.

Source – Adapted from a Hop, Skip and a Jump