Thursday, October 25, 2012

Saving your Acorns & Earl the Squirrel

I love acorns!  For some reason the acorns from one of my parent's oak trees were bigger than ever this year... look at those!  We decided to gather lots of them up, call us a bunch of squirrels. 
 After we gathered, we brought our spoils home.  Did you know that if you want to keep acorns (for an extended period of time, you know to decorate) you need to dry them?  If you don't they'll sprout (and/or sometimes little larvae from some sort of a bug will start hatching from your gathered acorns... not a preferred addition to decor.)
To dry acorns:
1: Take off all the adorable little acorn caps (really they don't stick on anyway once fallen from the tree).
2: Drill a small hole into the top of each acorn (where you'll be replacing the cap).  *note, this step may be unnecessary but... I feel like it really helps in the drying process.
3: Spread your nuts on a cookie sheet and bake at 175 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.
4: After acorns are cool, play the game of 'match caps to nuts'!  That's the fun part.  We used our low temperature glue gun.  You could also use tacky glue or whatever glue you want to try.
With all this acorn activity I wanted to find a cool acorn book.  And I did!  Earl the Squirrel by Don Freeman.
This book is adorable.  Earl's growing up and his Mom is now expecting him to pull his own weight in the squirrel family, but he doesn't really even know where to find acorns.  Jill (the little girl who lives in the nearby house) tries to give Earl some help.  Mother squirrel DOES NOT think that's okay!
 "Whoever heard of a squirrel needing a nutcracker?"... "Whoever heard of any of us needing something around our necks to keep us warm?"... "That girl is making you into the most spoiled squirrel in the world!"  Mother squirrel is all kinds of frustrated with her young squirrel son.  But don't you worry... Earl figures things out.

I must add this book was published in 2005.  Don Freeman died in 1978.  The story of how this picture book came to be published is quite wonderful.  You can find it here.

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Linked up at The Kids Co-op.

PS Melissa was the lucky winner of my acorn giveaway!

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