Striving to create a home strong in the foundations of love, respect, and God's truths ...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Inspired Wednesday - Build a Squirrel House; er, Go With It

A few weeks ago My Big Helper was sitting on the couch with me early one morning when she realized that there was a squirrel in the tree outside.  She had him named 'Henry' in short order and started looking for him each morning.

We had some extra dried corn left over from a project, and so she put an ear in Henry's tree for him. Soon she noticed another squirrel hanging out with Henry and decided that must be his girlfriend Victoria.

Our Big Helper was happy to find that "Henry" had left a squirrel feeder in the care of her aunt for her birthday.  Immediately after relocating it to Henry's tree, the pair was joined by Annie and Cottontail, two skinny squirrels.

A few more days of squirrel watching spawned a dream of a Henry House - a full-fledged squirrel mansion complete with windows, wall paintings, and even curtains.  She began to diagram her plans, adding in measurements, estimating squirrel tail sizes, and to ask when construction could begin.

She informed me that she "could hardly hold in her excitement" when she realized that there was a free Saturday on the schedule in which her daddy might be available for building help.  When he confirmed these plans, she was beside herself!

It took two Saturdays, but Henry's Squirrel Mansion is nearly complete - and it even has a 'squirrel buffet' on the front porch.

She's now looking for squirrels each morning, tracking at what time she sees which squirrel, and estimating how long each ear of corn will last.  She laughs when she sees one and looks for squirrel books in the library.  She even has a squirrel lapbook waiting in her schoolwork queue.

This is one project I just couldn't dream up.  I never would have thought to have my little girl become a squirrel monitor, but she's loving it.  She's actively using science, math, reading, and construction skills, all in the name of feeding a supposedly-hungry mammal in the front yard. 

Other than enjoy the frequent giggles from the couch, I've had to do very little to direct this educational endeavor, but we've all reaped the benefits.

Sometimes it seems as if letting our children follow their dreams is scary.  We don't know what they'll find or how it will turn out.  We're not sure if they'll learn the lessons that are written into our "goals" or "curriculum," but sometimes they need the freedom to go and explore.  Sometimes their ideas will take them places that we couldn't have imagined, and that's okay.

Who knows what God has planned for them around the next corner?

Maybe she'll become the founder of the Henry Homes, the latest in Squirrel Development.  

Or something like that.

Last week Teaching Little Ones at Home linked up a post about creating celtic knot tutorials.  Would anyone else like to learn how to make these?  If so, or to find out more, visit Teaching Little Ones at Home - and please visit our Inspired Wednesday page and take the "I was featured on Washed Up Inspired Wednesdays' button back with you.  

A Nest in the Rocks
If you have a post about an encouraging activity, project, or trip that you've taken, please link up below and add a link back to this post.  Either way, please read on to find out more about a fun activity that we enjoy here in our nest, and be sure to hop over to Where He Leads, We Follow to check out Stephanie's  Inspiring Wednesday post, too. 


  1. I so enjoy hearing about the adventures of Henry and Victoria - and now Annie and Cottontail. Here is a fun fact to pass on to your Big Helper -----

    My youngest son is dating a girl who is in the US as a graduate student. She is from Germany. There are no squirrels in Germany, apparently, or at least very few. I believe Nici had never seen a squirrel "in person" before she arrive here. My son said that walks in the park take forever, because they have to stop and watch every squirrel they see. Also Nici has taken countless pictures of squirrels doing every possible squirrel activity -and she sends them to her sister who is back in Germany. My son says he never imagined anyone with such a magnificent level of enthusiasm for squirrels. (I haven't yet told him about your Big Helper......) A side note - Germany apparently has an incredible number of hedgehogs that run about and are everywhere. I guess I would be as excited to see them all the time as Nici is to see squirrels. I have never seen a hedgehog "in the wild" - or in person, for that matter.

  2. I LOVE it!!! We must have the same brain waves going this week. Please tell your Big Helper that we think she did an awesome job with that squirrel house.