Brrr! We are heading to the Arctic for preschool! We’ll learn about the polar regions of the Arctic and Antarctica, its animals, have an Arctic science experiment, and some Arctic crafts! Bundle up and join us for these fun Arctic Preschool activities!
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All About the Arctic
The arctic is on top of the world! Quite literally, the arctic circle is the farthest north you can go on the Earth. The arctic circle includes parts of the US (Alaska), Canada, Scandinavia, Russia, and Greenland.
As cold as it is way up north, the Arctic circle is full of life! In the arctic, you can find polar bears, the arctic fox, narwhals (think…”bye Buddy! I hope you find your dad!” from the movie Elf 😉), walrus, snowy owl, harp seal, beluga whale, and more! These animals have adaptations that help them survive the chill of the arctic in a way that we can’t.
People of the Inuit live in the Arctic region of Canada and Greenland. To keep warm, they make coats and clothing made of reindeer and seal skin. Their big fur coats are made from both polar bears and wolves.
The following information was researched from National Geographic Kids-
The Arctic is a polar habitat. Polar habitats are located both on the northern (arctic) and southern (antarctic) circles of the globe. The North Pole, the very tip top of the Earth, doesn’t have any land, but rather sheets of ice that form and shift. The south pole is located on Antarctica. While it is land, it is also covered in ice, which can be up to 3 miles thick!
The north pole has an average temperature of -22 degrees in winter but gets as cold as -40 degrees, while the south pole has a record low of -129 degrees!
DID YOU KNOW:
The Arctic and Antarctica (north and south pole) are actually considered deserts! While they both see lots of snow, they rarely see rain.
There are not any penguins in the Arctic, but there are puffins! Penguins do live around the Antarctic area and in many areas of the southern hemisphere.
The Arctic fox’s fur turns brown in summer, and white in winter.
Books about the Arctic for Preschool
We learned a lot more really awesome info about the Arctic! Some of the coolest books about the Arctic include:
Alone in the Arctic- Science to the Rescue by Gerry Bailey
The Frigid Arctic Ocean– Doreen Gonzales
Arctic Preschool Sensory Bin
We love using Toobs. They are full of fun little figurines and really invite interactive play 🙂
Simply empty the snow into a large container and add water according to the directions on the package. Get your hands in there and really mix it up. It will soon become a fun, snowy texture to play with! Then add in the Arctic Toob figurines and start playing!
Arctic Math for Preschoolers
Count the cute Arctic Animals and trace the number beside them! Your preschooler can use a pen, or finger-trace to get use to what the number looks and feels like to write. This printable works with numbers 1-5. Download the free printable under the picture below:
Arctic Science For Preschoolers
In order for animals to stay warm in the freezing cold temperatures, their bodies have adaptations.
The Arctic fox has a thick fur coat and a long tail that it uses as a blanket to keep warm.
Polar bears make a den in the fall and sleep through the winter. They also have about 4 inches of blubber and 1-2″ of a nice, fur coat!
The Tundra Swan will migrate thousands of miles for a more mild winter.
The walrus is a social animal. They are able to slow down their heart rate in order to survive the chilly water as they go find food. They also are covered in thick blubber to help keep warm!
Read on for arctic theme preschool science experiments!
Arctic Animal Blubber Experiment
To help demonstrate how powerful and insulating blubber is, we created a little blubber coating of our own!
Crisco (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup)
2 plastic grocery bags, or 2 plastic gloves
a bowl of lots of ice and water
Fill one bag with a scoop of the Crisco. Insert the other bag into the Crisco bag. Put your hand in the dry bag and smooth out the Crisco slightly in the layer below.
Stick your bare hand into the bowl of ice water. How does it feel? Talk about how cold it is, and if your child thinks they could survive jumping into water that cold for a long time!
Now, put your hand into the bag (the double layered bag with Crisco in-between bag layers). Pull the bag around your hand so the Crisco is around your hand as well (in the layer below. Your hand should never actually have to touch the Crisco.) Now with this Crisco-layered-glove, stick your hand into the ice water again. How does it feel? Is it cold like before?
Having a nice layer of fat around your hand should feel much more comfortable when sticking your hand into a bowl of ice water!
Why Doesn’t The Ocean Freeze Over Experiment
This icy experiment is fun to observe, and comes with a fun, easy, free printable for your preschooler to really get thinking and participate in! To do this Arctic theme preschool activity-
Here’s what to do:
Get two large containers or cups and label them #1 and #2.
Add two cups of water to each container.
Add 2 tablespoons of salt to container #2 and mix until dissolved.
Place both containers in the freezer. Freeze at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight. 4 hours will work if the containers are wide and shallow. Otherwise, leave them overnight.
The next day, take them out and use the free printable to observe what happened. The free printable also has a simple explanation about what happened!
(The plain water froze into a solid chunk, while the salt water had a frozen slush on top, and was still water below that layer)!
Download the free printable here:
Arctic Activities for Preschool
Igloo STEM activity
We talked a little about igloos and how they provide shelter and help people in cold regions stay warm during this Arctic theme for preschool!
Try to build your own model of an igloo, taking note of how igloos are made with blocks that are stacked together. To do this, use some sugar cubes and see what you can build!
Free Tracing Printable
This printable is free to download and fun to help each polar bear walk along their path!
Download the free arctic printable:
Diving for Fish in the Arctic Activity
Grab a few white sheets and drape them over some furniture! Then print out some fish, cut them out, and throw them inside where your preschooler can “dive” below and hunt for some fish!
Better yet, print out these fish templates and have your preschooler color and decorate them so they are one-of-a-kind!
Arctic Animal Flashcards
Flash cards are great because they have a fun visual component that little kids enjoy. They also are easy to make and can be used for so many different activities.
I made our flashcards with this fun sticker pack. The sticker pack come with two sheets of seven different themes, including Arctic. These stickers come in handy as we work through different preschool themes and habitats, so you won’t waste them 🙂
Just take one of the animal stickers and stick it onto an index card. Then write the name of the arctic animal below! Since it comes with two sheets of arctic, you can make two sets of flashcards and play:
-Memory (flip all the cards over and try to flip over matches)
-Go Fish, collecting just pairs of each animal
-Simple matching (have your preschooler match the same animals up together)
We also did a fun sorting activity. Make 3 labels: Land, Ocean, Sky. Then using one set of flashcards, sort the animals depending on where they live. (The seals and walrus we put in between land and ocean since they live on land and like to search the ocean for food!)
Arctic Theme Preschool Crafts
Try one or two of these arctic crafts to give some hands-on fun to your preschooler!
Create an Arctic Igloo
For this project you’ll just need:
Bag of Mini Marshmallows
Hot Glue Gun (with an adult helping, of course!)
Turn the cup upside down. Then, put a little line of hot glue along the bottom of the up. Push on a few mini marshmallows! Work all the way around the bottom, then work your way up until the cup is covered in marshmallows, or rather, “ice blocks” for an igloo!
Hot Chocolate Mug Craft
Nothing makes you feel colder than thinking about being in the Arctic! Draw up a hot chocolate mug (or find a cool template on Pinterest) and color it! Then glue on some cotton balls for your faux-hot-chocolate decor.
My daughter needed a very colorful mug and even colorful hot chocolate. It’s all in the creativitiy!
Arctic Theme Preschool
Having an Arctic theme at preschool is such a fun unit. There’s so much you can do and so many arctic activities to have some fun, hands-on learning. Let me know in the comments what you try!
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