Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve

Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve

Friday, August 10, 2012


Christopher Columbus called raccoons clown dogs when he first encountered them.  They are a fun little creature whose personality matches their bandit look created by the black fur around their eyes in the shape of a mask.  We had a great time learning about these cleaver animals.

Our touch box this week was part of a very furry raccoon tail.  And we learned about their lives by reading the Rookie Read-About Science book “Raccoons” by Allan Fowler. 

Next we met our friend Rebecca Raccoon who is small and lives in a big tree.  She enjoys playing hide-and-seek while singing this song: 
Rebecca Raccoon loves to play
hide-and-seek in her tree

The Raccoon Song 
Sung to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”
"Raccoon, raccoon, climbing a tree;
Wearing a mask, you can't fool me;

Hiding there so I can't see;

What you're doing, in that tree;

Raccoon, raccoon, climbing a tree;

Wearing a mask, you can't fool me!"

Next we read a really fun book called “Raccoon Tune” by Nancy Shaw and illustrated by Howard Fine.  If you have ever heard raccoon going through trash cans, you probably imagined the scenario Shaw paints in this amusing story. 
Now that we knew a little more about these rascals, we gave being raccoons a try.  Each child received a raccoon mask cut from black foam sheets and we did our best impersonations while singing this song: 
I'm a Little Raccoon
Sung to the tune of I'm a Little Teapot

I'm a little raccoon, prowling around,
(use your hands like little paws and
make a cautious prowling motion.)
I hunt for food without a sound.
(look left and then right and
make a shhhhhh motion)
A mask on my face and a bushy tail,
(point to your eyes and then
swish one arm behind you like a tail)

Let's see if you can spot my trail!
(put hand on forehead (like a salute) and
gaze at the floor like you're looking for pawprints)

We finished our circle time with a flannel board story.  I used several pieces I already had to put together an abbreviated version of Erica Wolf’s “Brave Little Raccoon.”  The kids loved the mystery of who was following Little Raccoon as she tried to make her way home. 

In addition to our paper bag raccoon puppet craft and their masks, the kids received a quarter-sheet card with both of our rhymes on it to take home. 
I'm a Little Raccoon (printable)


  1. Great FF post!! Can you tell me more about the touch box? I'm guessing it's a box a child reaches his or her hand into and guesses what he or she is touching? I have a lot of kids come to storytime (30-50) so I wouldn't do it in storytime but maybe a few minutes before. Maybe it would contain a clue to our theme. Also a motivator to arrive early. Please tell me how you use it. It's a fabulous idea!

    1. Yes. Toddler Tales is a nature storytime at our local nature center. We start each week with the touch box. It is exactly how you assumed. Last week's theme was squirrels and we had a squirrel tail. When "natural" items aren't available, we use stuffed toys or even different things (a nightlight for fireflies...). Be careful what you use though. When my oldest was about 2.5 there was snow in the touch box. It freaked her out so much she wouldn't do the touch box for a year afterward!