Move Like Squirrels!

What better way to fall in love with being active and learn about the amazing creatures around us than to play like squirrels? In this Tinkergarten Anywhere lesson, we’ll pretend to be agile squirrels as we move through a series of challenges and games.

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The Guide

Step 1: Watch the Tinkergarten Anywhere "Cache Treasure" video lesson.

Hop into your Tinkergarten dashboard to watch the "Cache Treasure" video lesson. Kids can watch how Meghan and other explorers set up physical obstacles, then get inspired to move like squirrels in their outdoor spaces!

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Step 2: Gather a few materials:

  • Objects to set up obstacles (e.g. buckets, bean bags, rope or twine, blanket, fallen logs)
  • Optional: Printable Squirrel Course Cards

Step 3: Get inspiration from squirrels. 

Squirrels are agile creatures and move their bodies in amazing ways.  Read or watch the video read-aloud of Girl Versus Squirrel by Hayley Barrett. Or, watch a video from National Geographic to learn how squirrels collect and hide food to store for the winter.

Step 4: Set up a “course” and move!

Work with your child to place the materials you gathered around your outdoor space to set up a series of physical challenges. For younger kids, you can set up the course for them to “discover.” Older kids will often enjoy the process of designing the course itself. If you need ideas, use some of the suggested obstacles on these printable Squirrel Course Cards

Invite kids to notice how they are moving their bodies. How does it feel to move their body in this way? 

Step 5: Move like squirrels!

How would a squirrel move through these obstacles? Suggest kids try zig-zagging, leaping, jumping and scurrying through the obstacles like squirrels. Need some more ideas? Use the suggested movement challenges on the Squirrel Course Cards. Add a prop to spark pretend play by tying a piece of cloth around the waist like a pretend squirrel tail.
Want more ideas like this? Try some of these DIY activities to activate kids bodies and imaginations: 

Why is this activity great for kids?

Kids who spend more time outdoors are more physically active, and we know that being more physically active drives all kinds of positive health outcomes. Plus, kids who make a habit of being physically active early in life tend to stay physically active into adulthood—what a lasting gift! Moving like squirrels helps foster creativity and inspires pretend play. Pretending to be another creature is also a great way to develop cognitive empathy (the ability to take another person/creature's perspective). Finally, as kids move through the course, they'll activate vestibular systems and proprioception, two of kids' hidden senses that have a big impact on how they learn.

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