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Sparkle Games
Nature School Project: Squirrels Uprising

September 10, 2015
Nature School Project:  Squirrels Uprising

Today we are joined by Jeannine Tidwell of Twin Eagles Wilderness School. Jeannine explains how to play the game “Squirrels Uprising."

This post accompanies the first story in the Martin & Sylvia: Nature School Audio Book - “What to do on Thursdays”.


“Squirrels Uprising” is a fun game. It has layers to it and there are multiple things happening at the same time, so it invites one’s awareness to expand to their whole environment and everything in it. In this way it is natural to feel that sense of interconnectedness.

Why play this game? Because it’s an incredible amount of fun!

“Squirrels Uprising” is a great game to play year round but especially in the fall when squirrels are gathering food like seeds, nuts and other food. Squirrels then are our teachers as we all look ahead and prepare for the winter to come.

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Number of People:

3 or more (best with larger group of at least 10)

Materials Needed:

8 – 10 pinecones (or bandanas if you can’t find pinecones!)

How to Play:

People get into two groups: the squirrels and the foxes. Size the groups based on the ratio of one fox for every 4 or 5 squirrels. The numbers can vary, adjust them to fit your needs.

The squirrels have a pile of “nuts” (pinecones) that they are trying to place in a cache for the winter that is being guarded by the foxes. The squirrels try to outwit the foxes by hiding the nuts on their bodies as they run.

Squirrels can only put one nut in the cache at a time, and only one nut is allowed to be active on the playing field at a time. If a squirrel gets tagged by a fox they are then frozen in place. When they’re frozen they drop the nut. There is also a magic “unfreezing” object (bandana) that is passed from one squirrel to another to unfreeze frozen squirrels by touching them with it. If the squirrel with the unfreezing object gets tagged while they have the unfreezing object in their hand, they drop it and freeze.

The squirrels win if they get all their nuts in the cache. The foxes win if they tag and freeze all the squirrels.

Photos provided by Charles Purvis.

About the Author

Jeannine Tidwell

Jeannine Tidwell is co-founder and co-director of Twin Eagles Wilderness School, a family-centered organization offering programs to people of all ages and serving the greater Inland Northwest. She is mother to two beautiful boys. She loves gathering wild foods, sharing nature with others, soulful poetry and living life to the fullest. It is her hope that this game will help you deeply connect you with nature, yourself and your friends, family and community and most important – have fun!

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