Learning through play was my goal when my children and I put together these polar bear Arctic sensory activities. Last year I used pillowcases and blue play dough and let the kids have fun building the arctic on top of the craft table. This year they wanted to expand the idea using old bedsheets, gems, sensory bins, and more images from the Arctic to build a background.
We started this unit with a compare & contrast of the north and south poles animals using a map and Orboot Earth app.
Compare & Contrast North & South Pole Sensory Play Idea
For the compare and contrast activity we used the Orboot app on an iPad and the We used the Orboot app on an iPad and the corresponding globe for the compare and contrast activity. First, my kids found animals found in the north and south of the world, and we started sorting animals into different categories. After they observed similarities and differences among the animals, the next step was to pick with the region to build a sensory activity.
Polar Bear Sensory Play Materials:
- White pillowcase/ sheets
- Arctic animal figurines
- Polar bear books
- Sensory tray
- Blue filler (painted quinoa)
- Gems, rocks, magnet letters
- Cups, scoops, etc.
Favorite Polar Region Books
- Animal Planet Animal Bites Polar Animals
- Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett
- The Cozy by Jan Brett
Arctic Story of the Day with Picture of the Day
I used a picture of the day activity to build fluency in writing a sentence and editing it in the classroom. For preschool at home, it is a great activity to help work through reading skills. I show a picture after the read-aloud and ask the kids to create a story with a beginning, middle, and end. It must also include a problem and a solution.
We brainstorm ideas together while looking at the picture. I jot down ideas some days on paper while they talk. Then as they start coming up with their plot, I review what they say back to them and ask them questions about the story before writing anything down.
Once they have rehearsed their story idea a few times, I ask them to tell me their beginning, middle, and end of the story one last time, and I write it down on chart paper.
Then we edit and revise the story together by re-reading it a few times and looking back at the book and picture of the day for help.
Lastly, I typed up their finished ideas on the computer, hit print, and handed them copies of the story to illustrate.
We share finished drawings and talk about what part of the story their illustration best represents. For example, my daughter drew a picture from the story’s beginning by drawing a picture of a mom polar bear looking for her baby.
Polar Bear Writing Activity Materials:
- Chart paper & marker
- Drawing paper or printed copy of the story
- Picture of the Day & book for inspiration
Math Connection Bear Activity
We love using counting bears to practice math. Therefore, after reading, writing, and playing to learn about polar bears, we used our counting bears for today’s math lesson.
Math Skills Using Bears
- Color sorting
- Greater than, less than, equal to (balance scale)
- Counting, adding, subtracting
- Sequential order
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For more activities for little learners, please visit other posts.