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Pre/Post Camp Kawartha Visit Guided by “A Day in the Life of a Squirrel” Programming 

Pre/Post Camp Kawartha Visit Guided by “A Day in the Life of a Squirrel” Programming 

At Camp Kawartha:

Students live the life of a squirrel. From camouflaging to building nests, students participate in a variety of interactive games and role-playing activities that simulate seasonal changes over a year. (K-3)

Curriculum Connections

Science Curriculum Links – Life Systems:

  • Kindergarten – Problem Solving & Innovation, Belonging & Contributing
  • Grade 1 – Needs and Characteristics of Living Things
  • Grade 2 – Growth and Change in Animals


Grade 1


A2.1 formulate questions to guide investigations into some aspects of the interrelationship between events, people, and/or places in their lives and their own roles, relationships, responsibilities, and identity/sense of self.

A3.1 describe some of their own roles, relationships, and responsibilities 

A3.5 demonstrate an understanding that it is important to treat other people and the environment with respect


B2.1 demonstrate an understanding of the natural environment as a place where living and non-living things are interconnected 

B2.5 describe the characteristics of a healthy environment, including clean air and water and nutritious food, and how a healthy environment enables living things to meet their needs

B2.6 describe ways in which living things provide for the needs of other living things

Grade 2 


B2.1 compare physical characteristics of various animals, including characteristics that are constant and those that change

B2.2 describe the locomotion of various animals

B2.5 describe adaptations, including physical and/or behavioural characteristics, that allow various animals to survive in their natural environment

Grades 1 & 2


A1.3 apply skills that help them develop habits of mind that support positive motivation and perseverance as they participate in learning experiences in health and physical education, in order to promote a sense of optimism and hope

B3.2 identify environmental factors that pose safety risks, including the risk of concussion, during their participation in physical activity 

C1.3 perform a variety of locomotor movements, traveling in different directions and using different body parts 

D3.1 demonstrate an understanding of how to stay safe and avoid injuries to themselves and others in a variety of situations, using knowledge about potential risks at home, in the community, when online, and outdoors 

Pre Camp Kawartha


Play the squirrel game (Camp Kawartha)

  • Talk about the different types of squirrels that you can see in your neighbourhood
  • Split the class in half, assigning one half to be black/grey squirrels and the other half will be red squirrels
  • Give each student 5 popsicle sticks or painted rocks
  • Those who are red squirrels have to hide all of their items together and those who are black/grey squirrels have to hide them in tiny bundles or individually
  • This mimics how the two types of squirrels hide their food!
  • After they are hidden the teacher (and maybe a few students) are identified as bluejays and foxes.
  • Now the squirrels have to rush back out to collect (and remember!) where their food is hidden. The blue jay(s) are trying to steal the food and the foxes are trying to eat the squirrels and the blue jays. 
  • Was it hard to remember where your food was? Did you easily escape the foxes and bluejays?

Learn the basics of camouflage with the Butterfly camouflage art activity (As described by Science North) 

  • Students will learn about what camouflage is, the different types of camouflage and mimicry techniques that animals use to protect themselves
  • Students will design a paper butterfly to camouflage somewhere in the classroom/outdoor school yard and then go on a butterfly hunt to find classmates’ butterflies! 
  • This activity could be used as a part of an art project or can be adapted to be used as literacy evidence using the provided questions/templates. 
  • Students will gain an understanding of camouflage before putting it into practice at Camp Kawartha

Squirrel Sensory Bin

  • Fill a large bin with a variety of materials for students to experiment with and explore, themed around squirrels
  • Some material suggestions include, leaves, acorns, wood, toy or paper squirrels (students could design their own), pinecones, dry corn, scoops and containers for sorting or ‘hiding’ food 
  • This allows students to explore the habits of a squirrel, the foods they like, etc. while having a sensory experience which supports their memory and problem solving skills

Squirrel Art

Play hide and seek outside

  • Introduce ideas of camouflage to students in a more broad sense
  • Play hide and seek in your schoolyard or even better, in a nearby green space or small forested area
  • Having students take turns being the ‘seeker’ will give them opportunities to search for their peers, develop their skill in attention to detail, and those who are hiding are given the opportunity to practice being the squirrel, camouflaging from potential dangers, giving them a basis of knowledge prior to visiting Camp Kawartha

Post Camp Kawartha

Squirrel Puppet Show

  • If your students made paper bag squirrel puppets prior to your visit to Camp Kawartha, those will come in handy now! If not, you can make them now and use them just the same!
  • Take your student made puppets outside, and allow them to create their own puppet show(s). This could be done in small groups, pairs, whole class, depending on your timeline and the students’ ideas! 
  • Encourage your students to incorporate the habits and routines of squirrels that they have learned at Camp Kawartha and beyond. Use the outdoors to bring their stories to life!
  • This could be adapted to incorporate assessment for the drama and art curricula. Template provided in pre-visit activity section. 

Squirrel Stories

  • Choose from any of the following books to follow up on the knowledge you and your students have been learning pre Camp Kawartha and throughout your visit
  • Read: Squirrel’s Busy Day Lucy Barnard
  • Read: Nuts to you by Lois Ehlert
  • Read: The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri

Go on a squirrel scavenger hunt (from Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels)

  • Head outside with your class for a squirrel scavenger hunt! Talk a walk around your school community or a local green space, using the scavenger hunt checklist to see how many signs of squirrels your students can find. Pay close attention to mud or snow for tracks and make sure to stop periodically and take a quiet look up into the trees to see if you can find a real squirrel! Template provided here. Squirrel Scavenger Hunt Template

Make a squirrel ‘amusement park’ 

  • Take your students outside. If you have them, provide loose parts such as wood cutoffs, logs, anything else you have access to. Otherwise, use any materials accessible in your schoolyard or nearby natural area. Have students design their own “squirrel amusement park” using their chosen materials. 
  • Students could use things like twigs to build a squirrel swing, or put together leaves to make a squirrel trampoline and so on. 
  • Extend this into a literacy assessment using creative or procedural writing!

Resource suitable for the following grades:

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