Download the polar animals week planning guide for simple, hands-on play and learn ideas to use at home or in your preschool classroom!
Penguin Tracks: Use a small plastic toy penguin that can be easily cleaned with soap and water. Squirt washable paint on to a paper plate and spread it around. Using large paper would be fun for this activity, especially if a group is working together. Dip and wiggle the plastic penguin’s feet in the paint. Make penguin tracks on the paper with the painted feet to form letters, names, or simple words. Consider pre-writing the letters on the paper for younger preschoolers to trace while making tracks!
Feed the Whales: Print the whale page or draw your own version. Each whale needs to be fed. Use goldfish crackers, small fish erasers or toys, or even small beads to feed the whales with. Consider adding small tongs or kid-friendly squeezers to add food to each whale. Count each goldfish cracker as it is added. But be careful! You do not want to overfeed the whale. Make sure all of the food can fit inside the circle. After counting the total snacks for each whale, practice writing the numbers or number words too!
Collect the Fish: Cut a bunch of paper fish out of colored paper. Place them all over the house or room. The goal of the activity is to move like a polar animal all over the room, while collecting as many fish as possible. Use a timer to give your preschooler a goal to work from. Count the fish gathered. Spread them back out and see if even more fish can be collected within the time limit. Another way to play would be to give your preschooler a certain number of fish to collect OR to give a simple addition sentence to solve with a certain number of fish.
Paper Plate Polar Bear: Use a white paper plate for the polar bear craft. Cut white half circles for the ears and glue them on. Paint a small bathroom cup white to create the muzzle and glue it on the middle of the face. Add eyes and other details. Hang the polar bear to display it!
Icy Hide & Seek: Gather stuffed animal toys to act as polar and arctic animals. Count the total so that you know how many you begin this activity with. Hide them all over the room. Hide some in easy places and some in tricky places. Grab a laundry basket or some kind of bin or bucket and have your preschooler slide through the “ice,” collecting the animals as they are found. You can also take a group photo of all the stuffed animals and print it out on paper. Add it to a clipboard. Mark off each animal as it is found. Count the animals in the laundry basket when you are done to make sure you have them all!
Don’t Wake the Polar Bear: Print the polar bear page or cut a bear shape out of white paper. Gather a bunch of white pom poms or cotton balls. Use enough pom poms to be able to cover the polar bear. For this game, at least 2 people should play. On your turn, choose to remove one or two “snowball” pom poms from the polar bear. Use kid-friendly squeezers to remove the pom poms. Whoever is forced to remove the last pom pom during their turn wakes the polar bear! Cover the polar bear and play again!
Walrus Wiggle: Create a path on the floor with tape or draw a path with chalk outside. Pretend to be a walrus to move down the path. Lay on your stomach and wiggle forward, sit on your bottom and scoot, or even crawl on your knees and hands. Practice moving like a walrus down the path. Keep going all the way down the path as fast as you can!
Polar Animal Painting: Print a few real life pictures of polar animals from the internet. Display the pictures of the animals to easily be seen. If you have any books about the animals, consider reading one or two before the painting begins to learn more about the animal (fiction or nonfiction books work for this activity!). Set up an easel if you have one or a paper on the table. Using watercolors or tempera paint, paint your own version of the polar animals displayed. The polar animals can be can be painted on one paper all together or on separate papers. After the paint is dry, display the painting with the animals!
Narwhal Numbers: Print the fish page or create your own. Cut the fish out and add numbers to them. Hang them around the room. Use an empty paper towel tube as your narwhal tusk. Find each fish, identify the number on it, and tap it with your pretend narwhal tusk paper towel tube. For an added challenge, tap the fish the number of times that the fish says!
Arctic Hare Hop: Set up items on the floor around the room. Use smaller toys, small pillows, shoes, etc. Pretend to be an Arctic hare and jump over the items as you travel around the room. Jump in different ways with your feet together, on one foot, or leap!
Read & Draw: Read a book with a winter or polar animal theme. Discuss the problem in the book and the solution. Name the characters. Talk about where the book takes place. After reading the book, draw a picture from the book. It can be about something learned or a favorite part. Talk about the drawing and how it relates to the book!
Snowy Owl Towel: Grab a bath towel and hold it behind your back in your hands like it is your wings. Play different games as a snowy owl. Flap your wings a certain number of times while counting. Fly around the room while moving in different ways (galloping, tip-toeing, etc.), and jump from different objects!
Download the polar animals theme editable planning sheet. Add learning ideas from the list below in this column or from the watermelon week activities!
LITERACY & MATH
We See Polar Animals Emergent Reader
Penguins in the Snow Fine Motor Tray
The Mitten Number Order Animal Cards
The Mitten Animal Cover & Color Puzzles
Polar Animal Non-fiction Research Project
Penguins Facts Anchor Chart & Writing Paper
Arctic Animals Word Trace & Write
Feed the Penguins Counting Mats
Penguin Pre-Writing Tracing Cards
Polar Bears Color Sorting Snowballs