I hope you caught a glimpse of my first Arctic Animal post last Wednesday. Here’s a follow up offering even more animal activities to do with your young ones at home!
Who doesn’t love learning about bunnies? With all of our focus on the large animals, it was nice to take a step back to the smaller ones. The library book to the left was a great introduction to the animal. The arctic hare has shorter ears than a regular rabbit and has an amazing ability to change fur color from brown in the summer months to white during the winter months. By doing so, the hare is camouflaged so predators don’t attack. Unfortunately, many of the animals we learned about were predators! As an art project to our learning, we potato-stamped some rabbit art based on the rabbits from Nurture Store.
Did you know that reindeer have a large reign? The new vocabulary helped us understand that reindeer are amazing travellers! Among many resources, the pictures in our library book (left) were amazing and helped us see reindeer as the true creatures they were – not just as a connection to Santa. It was so much fun for the girls to see on a map that the Caribou live right above the United State in Canada! One of the activities we did was a picture-story. I had an old calendar that had a picture of a Caribou and my kindergartener dictated a story to me. The funny thing was that it included many characters from our house meeting up with the Caribou!
We also really enjoyed the free unit provided by The Teachers’ Cauldron. We didn’t use all of the activities, but we organized our research, labeled reindeer parts (with little sister coloring the reindeer in), practiced our measuring, and wrote another story (although this one didn’t have ANYTHING to do with reindeer – I’ll take it – it’s writing!!)! If you’re working on reindeer, I’d go check it out!
Snowy Owls don’t make nests in trees or cliffs – they make a hollow area in the ground to lay their eggs and nest. We thought this was fascinating, given than the Arctic Foxes and other land animals were predators. But, maybe it helps that the Arctic Owl is one of the biggest owls in the world! Using the foldable provided by Homeschool Share, we recorded our research and my daughter made a thumbprint owl scene. We’ve been very much enjoying Ed Emberley’s thumbprint art books lately, so it was a perfect tie in.
Not only that, but we also learned form our Arctic Memory game that many birds in the arctic have feathers down their legs to keep them warm in the chilly weather!
We played this game at the kindergarten level by laying out the cards picture-side-up. I would show a picture and my girls would each look for that card. As they were searching, I would read the facts about that animal or painting. We then split the deck in half and were able to play 2 different games of memory. It was great bringing a form of professional art into the lessons!
The Arctic Fox is similar to the Arctic Hare in that its fur changes color from summer to winter to blend in with the arctic conditions. One of the most interesting fact we learned about the Arctic Fox was its relationship with the Polar Bear. Arctic Foxes stay their distance from Polar Bears, but once a Polar Bear is done with its meal, the Arctic Fox is quick to finish up the leftovers. Another great lesson we learned was the difference between foxes and wolves. My girls could pick up on the differences in pictures almost immediately, whereas I had a little more trouble!!
Again, we filed all of our pictures, notes, and interesting facts into our lapbook pockets.
Other Arctic Activities
I wanted to take the time to also highlight a few other activities we’ve enjoyed with the Arctic portion of our Polar Unit.
- Check out Ana Capurro at Ingles 360, who has a some polar play dough mats and coloring sheets to identify Arctic items for free in her Facebook group.
The girls have also been free-playing with the little creatures from our Actic Toob. At first we used them in our sensory tub, but they have been roaming the house ever since. It’s so much fun to listen to their imagination as they entwine what they’ve learned with what they are playing. Amazing how the food chain even comes into play!
Royal Baloo has a free downloadable kindergarten Arctic pack. We used the math and Sudoku game from the pack. It was our first experience with Sudoku and it was a success!!
Probably the biggest learning experience for us though was to visit the snow this past weekend. The girls really learned what it felt like to live in the Arctic. Well, maybe not the “real” Arctic, but they had a whole new view of snow, ice in their boots, and managing around the slippery stuff. Ah-ha! That’s why many of the Arctic animals have wide paws, or grips on the pads of their feet!!
Stay tuned for Wednesday post, when we share ideas from the South Pole. It’s onto Antarctica!
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