Monday, July 18, 2011

Polar Animals

Tot School
R is 27 months old.

This was a really fun program that I compiled to enhance R's interest in polar bears. It had also been really cold here, so it fitted in perfectly! We even did some activities in bed this week, because it was so cold! I set R up with a pillow and a stable table, and we got some things done while being warm! R really enjoyed this, and wanted to do it again the next day.

We made a paper plate penguin, seen on R loved this, especially painting on the paper plate and using the wiggle eyes. I love what he created, it is so cute!
R glued cotton balls onto a polar bear pattern from Making Learning Fun. R helped me pull apart cotton balls to glue onto the bear first (a great fine motor and muscle strengthening activity). He did not enjoy the cotton wool sticking to his fingers once they had glue on them.

I printed off the Polar Animals Track Matching Puzzles from 2 Teaching Mommies. R wasn't too sure about this at first, but once I showed him how the cards joined together, he completed them all several times. He then matched up our polar animals to the cards.

I made the Roll A Penguin Dice Game from Carls Corner. For the first time, we used the dice to play this game. Usually we put them together like a puzzle, but R is recognising the dots on the dice now, so we used it. After he rolled the dice, R would match up the dots on the dice to the dots on the page. I would then read what he had to do, and he would do it. He did it twice.
I made some arctic animal cards to match the arctic animal figurines that we have. R matched the animals to the cards, and I encouraged R to name the animals.

Fine Motor and Sensory
I hid the polar animal figurines around the room for R to find. I hid them in less obvious spots that I have previously, and it took him a while to find them.

I put the polar animals out with some ice blocks. I had intended to make some large ice blocks in an ice cream container, but in the end, I forgot about it, so we had to use the small ice blocks. R really enjoyed this, but only played with it a short time, because of how cold it has been here.
I made 'snow' from 1/2 cup of soap flakes whisked together with 1 cup boiling water until it increases in volume and thickens up like whipped cream. I used to make this a lot when I was working, but had never made it for R. He loved it, and spent over 1/2 an hour playing with it. He had it all over his little table, his chin and apron (so glad I put it on him...I nearly didn't).
We built an igloo from marshmallows. We looked at pictures of igloos on the internet, then tried to build one. It was quite hard to stack the marshmallows because they were irregular shapes. R had also never eaten a marshmallow before, and enjoyed the ones he got to eat. We also talked about hard and soft whilst playing with the marshmallows. The first picture is R's igloo and the other one is mine! I couldn't get a packet of white marshmallows because they were on special at the supermarket when I went and the white ones were all gone.
R used tongs to transfer cotton balls from one container to another. He always enjoys this type of activity, and I though the cotton balls would add a bit of variety, as we usually do tong transferring with pom poms.
For our cutting activity this week I printed a penguin size matching worksheet from R drew on it with textas and then cut out the squares before gluing then into the correctly sized boxes. R did so well at this activity, he is really getting good control over the scissors.
I printed an igloo playdough mat from Sparklebox. I also gave R all the bear cookie cutters that we have.
Quite a while ago I made R a Polar Bear Shadow Match File Folder Game from Making Learning Fun. He can do it easily, but I put it out as we have been reading the book every day. The first few times that we read the book, he was referring to the zookeeper as a farmer. Finally, he pointed to the zookeeper whilst completing the file folder game and said "that zookeeper, Mummy."
I printed out some tiny arctic animals and laminated them. I hid them in a tub of pom poms for R to find. R did this so many times.
I also printed the penguin puzzle from Lawteedah. R wasn't interested in this at first, but completed it twice when I joined in with him. We have mostly only done 3-4 piece puzzles like this, so I think the 8 pieces were a bit overwhelming for him.
I created a really basic sensory tub from cotton wool and the arctic animal figurines. R played with it for a little while, before using the cotton balls with his train set!

Music and Movement/Gross Motor
We sung a simple little song this week about Eskimos. R and I also did the Snowy Pokey, which I found at Perfectly Preschool. This was lots of fun.

We put a ball in between our legs and waddled like a penguin. Both of us had a great time.

R and I slid around the tiles in socks. R showed quite good balance whilst doing this.

I made a little penguin from an English Muffin for R to eat for a snack. I saw the idea on Totally Tots. I used a sultana for the eye and carrots for the beak and feet. I spread the penguin with cream cheese.

The books we read this week are here.

R made a P is for Penguin this week. He used cardboard pieces to scrape paint onto a "P" cutout, and the beak and feet. Then R glued it all together and added on a wiggly eye (his favourite part, so he told me!). I saw this idea on Rockaby Butterfly.

We sprinkled salt on ice blocks and watched it melt the ice. This didn't happen fast enough for R and as soon as he was finished sprinkling the salt on the ice, he wanted to pack away!

R made a shape polar bear from DLTK. We talked about biggest and smallest circles when doing this activity. R is getting really good at following directions now.

Next Program: Ff and Square

Thanks for Reading.


  1. You did some really fun things! As hot as it is here, just looking at your polar week was a welcome treat!

  2. I agree with the above comment. Its been so hot here that looking at these pictures cooled me off a little. Thanks!! :) You did so many great activities. I really like your arctic figurines. Where did you find them? Thank you for sharing.

  3. P.S. We LOVE googly eyes here. I think it makes crafts that much cuter. :)

  4. Thanks for reading guys. We had a really fun week. It's the middle of winter here, we are dreaming about sunshine! The polar animals were a set from a local toy shop, they are Wild Republic brand. They were about $12 for the set, but well worth it for the amount of use they got.

  5. Hello, sorry for my English. I just discovered your blog and I like it. I love your activities on the theme of winter. I would have liked the puzzle with animal paws, but it is no longer available on the link you gave. Is it possible to have it otherwise? Thank you!

    1. Hi,
      The new link is

      Thanks for reading!