Chipmunk Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Chipmunks are amazing animals that live throughout North America. Learn all about their diet, habitat, and discover some amazing facts in this lesson!

What is a Chipmunk?

You have probably seen the movies and heard the music from those three very famous chipmunks, but how much do you know about the real animal? Chipmunks are rodents, and they are members of the same animal family as squirrels and woodchucks. Rodents are animals that have very large teeth that enable them to gnaw or chew through lots of different types of materials. There are over 20 species of chipmunks, and nearly all of those species live throughout North America. The rest are found in Asia.

Chipmunks are small rodents that belong to the same family as squirrels.
close up of chipmunk

Habitat and Diet

Throughout North America, chipmunks survive in wild areas like forests. However, if there are trees and bushes, even in urban or city areas, it is not uncommon to see chipmunks scampering around. Chipmunks often build burrows, or tunnels underground. These areas help them to escape from predators and also allow them to store their food for when they hibernate, or sleep during the winter. Chipmunks are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and other animals. They often eat seeds, nuts, and grasses, as well as the eggs of birds, insects and even small frogs!

A hollow tree trunk is a great place for a chipmunk to hide from predators.
chipmunk in tree trunk

Physical Characteristics

Chipmunks are very small animals and are usually brown or reddish brown with stripes across their backs. Their coloring helps to camouflage, or hide, them from predators such as snakes, coyotes, and birds of prey. They have sharp teeth, which help them to chew food and gnaw through different materials. They also have pouches in their cheeks, and this allows them to carry quite a bit of food at one time.

The size of a chipmunk can be smaller than the hand of an adult man.
chipmunk close to mans hand

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