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Animal Olympics

2nd and 3rd Grade

Camp Description

Who’ll come out on top in this year’s Animal Olympics?  Will it be an elephant by a nose?  In these games, we’ll examine habitats and adaptations to discover why some animals thrive when others can’t compete.  No doubts about it – this camp is a winner!

Week Overview

Daily Schedule Subject to Change

**Ask your camper the questions below to learn about their day!



  • Question of the Day:
    • AM: Can you use water like an Archer Fish, to hit the farthest target, a moving target, or knock back a target the greatest distance? 
    • PM: How do fish and other animals hunt in unique ways? 
  • Zoo Exploration: Tropical Discovery, archer fish – animals that aim and hit their targets
  • Animal Experience: Who did I meet today?
  • Engineering Challenge: 
    • Campers attempt an Archer Fish challenge – try to hit their targets by shooting or spraying water
    • What enabled people to hit their targets?
  • Further Exploration: Camper’s choice – where did we go? Did we find other animals that carefully pounce or aim and get their targets?


  • Question of the Day: 
    • AM: Why are some animals so good at balancing, swinging, and jumping? 
    • PM: Can you build something (based on an animal) that will make you better at brachiating or balancing (or jumping)? 
  • Zoo Exploration: Primates and Gibbons in Toyota Elephant Passage, and other “gymnastic” animals, look at what makes some animals good at balancing, swinging, and jumping
  • Animal Experience: Who did I meet today?
  • Engineering Challenge:
    • Campers design an animal-based way to make themselves better at brachiating, balancing, or jumping
    • What did you design? How did it help you?
  • Further Exploration: Camper’s choice – where did we go?


  • Question of the Day: 
    • AM: How can we keep ourselves warm when swimming long distances in very cold water? 
    • PM: What can you design for yourself, based on an animal adaptation, which could help you swim better? 
  • Zoo Exploration: Northern Shores, look at animals for natural insulators
  • Animal Experience: Who did I meet today?
  • Engineering Challenge:
    • Campers build something using natural (and other) materials that will keep themselves warm after they get wet
    • What did you design? How did you test it? Did it work?
  • Further Exploration: Other swimming animals

**City Park Fountains!


  • Question of the Day: What makes an animal good at running either really fast for a short time, or really far for a long time?  
  • Zoo Exploration: Predator Ridge, look at bodies of Wild Dogs, Lions, for comparison, and hooved animals
  • Animal Experience: Who did I meet today?
  • Engineering Challenge:
    • “Time Crunch” team building challenges
    • What were our challenges? What did you build?
  • Further Exploration: Kudus, Bongos, and Addax, Tigers, or Wild Horses, look for body types and what makes these animals good or bad at running long distances


  • Question of the Day: Can you use what you learned this week to create and complete an animal-inspired decathlon?
    • AM: Can you work together to create a series of Olympic events as a relay course? 
    • PM: Can you complete the course? 
  • Zoo Exploration: Camper’s choice! Where did we go?
  • Engineering Challenge:
    • Campers design a series of Olympics events as a relay course
    • What did we build? What was in the animal decathlon?
  • Further Exploration: Penguins, Llamas, and Animal Recess, think about which Olympic Events they are best suited for

Taking It Home

How are animal adaptations similar to the abilities of human Olympic athletes?


  • Camp runs in rain or shine. Make sure your camper is dressed for the weather.
  • Campers are required to bring:
    • Backpack
    • Sack lunch + 2 snacks
    • Face Mask (cloth or disposable)
    • Water bottle
    • Craft Supplies: Scissors, colors, glue
  • Please note the day your child’s camp group will take a walking field trip to the City Park Fountains. While playing in the fountains, campers must keep their camp shirt and pants/shorts on – quick dry shoes and shorts are recommended on this day, but not required. Campers are welcome to bring a change of clothes, but are usually dry by the time we return to the zoo.
  • Drop-off and Pick-up occurs at the Special Programs Entrance (Gate 1), according to their designated time window. 
    • Drop-off:
      • 8:30-8:45 AM — 6-8th Grade + 4-5th Grade 
      • 8:45-9:00 AM – K-1st Grade 
      • 9:00-9:15 AM – 2-3rd Grade 
    • Pick-up:
      • 3:45-4:00 PM — 6-8th Grade + 4-5th Grade 
      • 4:00-4:15 PM – K-1st Grade 
      • 4:15-4:30 PM – 2-3rd Grade 
  • You will need to bring an ID every day for pick-up.

Contact Us

If your camper liked Summer Safari, they will LOVE Fall, Winter, and Spring Safari Mini-Camps! When school is out, Safari Camp is in! These camps run from November through March. There’s a Safari for every season!

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