Polar Animal preschool lesson plans. Arts and crafts, games, math, science, group time activities, songs and snack ideas.

Theme goal
To understand which animals live in the polar regions, that polar regions are cold and where polar regions are located. 

Group time:



Talk to the children about polar animals. Can anyone name some? Write them down. What does "polar" mean? What is the weather like in the polar regions? Record answers. Have a globe ready to show the children where the North and South pole is. Discuss that it is very cold in the regions around the poles. These areas are called the polar regions. The land is covered by snow and ice, also known as glaciers, all year round. Ask the children what they need to wear when it's cold outside. Ask the children if animals wear coats, mittens and gloves. How do you think the animals keep warm. The fur and fat keeps them warm. Dicuss that polar bears, penguins, schrews, seals and walrus live in the polar regions. You may want to take some time to learn other useful facts in the book Questions and Answers About Polar Animals, or A Polar Bear Journey from Amazon.com. Another great book is called Polar Dance : Born of the North Wind. This book includes over 250 photos of polar bears, and arctic wildlife captured in the beautiful frozen landscape. Although not intended for children this book has wonderful picutres that can teach younger children. 

Art 

Torn Paper Snow Pictures
Supply the children with a full sheet of blue paper and half sheet of white paper. Ask them to make a winter scene by tearing pieces of the white paper and gluing them onto the blue paper. Small amounts of other colored paper may be used. 

Torn Paper Igloos
Supply the children with a full sheet of blue paper and half sheet of white paper. Ask them to make an igloo by tearing pieces of the white paper and gluing them onto the blue paper. 

Torn Paper Polar Animals
Supply the children with a full sheet of blue paper and half sheet of white paper. Ask them to make polar bear or penguin by tearing pieces of the white paper and gluing them onto the blue paper. Small amounts of other colored paper may be used. 

Sticker Art
Supply the children with stickers of polar animals and have them place them on a piece of white paper to make a polar scene. 

Stamp Art
Supply the children with stamps of polar animals and have them make a polar scene with the stamps. 

Paint like a polar animal
Supply the children with paper and paint and have the children paint like a seal or penguin might paint. You may want to have them put a pair of clean socks on their hands to help them imagine not having fingers to use. 

Sponge Art
Supply the children with sponges of polar animals and paint and have them make a polar scene with them. 

Math/Science/Games 

Vote and Graph it
Have the children vote for their favorite polar animal and graph the results. Which animals did most children like the best? 

Would a bear be a good pet?
Have the children vote if a polar bear would be a good pet. Record the results on a graph. What is the result? Discuss with the children that a bear would not be a good pet and reasons why. Ie.. claws, eat a lot of food, they don't like humans, they might hurt us. 

Polar Bear Fat
You will need a pair of plastic gloves. Prepare a bucket of ice water. Fill one glove 1/4 full with shortening  Then have the child put a clean glove on their hand, then into the shortening glove. Use a rubber band or tape to seal the glove around the child's wrist (be sure it isn't too tight) Have the child place one had in the glove then into the water, and the other hand right into the water. Ask the child what they notice. The shortening acts as a great insulator against the cold, just like a polar bears fat. This is why a polar bear, and other animals, can swim in icy cold water.

Polar Animal Shape Match Up
There are many ways to set this up depending on the skill level or the particular skill you wish to work on. Try these different set ups: (Use your own Polar Animal Shapes... Penguin, Seal, Bear etc) 
---Cut out Polar Animal Shapes from different colors of paper. Give each child one Polar Animal Shape. Ask the children to find one person with the same color Polar Animal Shape. 
---Cut out Polar Animal Shapes from different colors of paper. Cut the Polar Animal Shapes in half using a puzzle type cut, like zig zag or interlocking pieces. Give each child one half of a Polar Animal Shape, and ask them to find the person with the other half. Or Give the children two pieces and have the children make a circle, with one child that has one match on one side and the other match on the other side. You may end up with 2 or more circles depending on how the Polar Animal Shape pieces are distributed. 
---Cut out Polar Animal Shapes from one color of paper. Cut the Polar Animal Shapes in half using a puzzle type cut, like zig zag or interlocking pieces. Give each child one half of a Polar Animal Shape, and ask them to find the person with the other half. Or Give the children two pieces and have the children make a circle, with one child that has one match on one side and the other match on the other side. You may end up with 2 or more circles depending on how the Polar Animal Shape pieces are distributed. 
---Cut the Polar Animal Shapes from one color of paper. Label one set of Polar Animal Shapes with numbers, i.e. if you have 20 children, label the Polar Animal Shapes with the numbers one to ten. The other half, draw one dot on one, two on another, and so on until ten. Give each child one Polar Animal Shape and have them find the child with their match. 
---Cut the Polar Animal Shapes from one color of paper. Place matching stickers on two Polar Animal Shapes. Give each child one Polar Animal Shape and have them find the child with their match. 
---Cut the Polar Animal Shapes from one color of paper. Cut the Polar Animal Shapes in half using a puzzle type cut, like zig zag or interlocking pieces. Place matching stickers on each half of a Polar Animal Shape. Give each child one Polar Animal Shape half and have them find the child with their match. 
---Place matching Polar Animal stickers on separate index cards. Give each child a card and ask them to find the child with their match. 
---Try all the above, but in a file folder format. Glue one part of the Polar Animal Shape to the file folder and laminate it's match. 
---Cut four or five different Polar Animal Shapes from different colors of paper. Give each child one Polar Animal Shape and have them form groups depending on what color they have... red animals here... or have them form groups depending on what animal they have.. penguins here. 

Polar Animal Shape Hop 
Cut out large polar animal shapes from colored paper. Laminate them and cut them out. Place them on the floor and ask the children to hop from one shape to another. These may also be used at seat markers for group time. 

Polar Animal Hide and Seek 
Have all the children hide their eyes while you "hide" a polar animal in the room. (It should be placed in plain view) Tell the children to find the polar animal, but not touch it. Once they spot it they should sit back down in their spot. The first one to sit down again will get to hide the polar animal. 

Polar Animal Hide and Seek 
Play the game the same as above, except hide the polar animal. Then tell the chidlren individually whether they are "hot" or "cold" to the relation of the polar animal. Allow the other children to have a change to hide the polar animal, and tell children whether they are "hot or cold". It may be a good idea to discuss the meaning of hot and cold before you play this game. 

Polar Animal Shape Fishing Game 
Tie 3 feet of string to a wooden spoon. Attach a magnet to the end of the string. Cut and laminate many different colored polar animal shapes from construction paper (not too big though). Attach a paper clip to each polar animal shape. Spread the polar animal shapes on the floor and let your child try to catch the polar animal shape. Have them try to catch the star or the biggest tree. For a twist, label the polar animal shapes with letters or numbers. 

Polar Animal Games 
The following games require you to cut out many different polar animal shapes from construction paper. You may choose to laminate these polar animal shapes so they last longer. 

Polar Animal Sizing 
Cut out many different sized polar animal. Ask the children to line up the polar animal from largest to smallest. 

Polar Animal Numbers 
Cut out ten shapes. Number them one to ten. Ask the children to line up the shapes from one to ten.

Polar Animal Colors 
Ask the children to sort the shapes by color.

Polar Animal Sort:
Supply the children with plenty of polar animal shapes of many sizes and colors. Ask the chidlren to sort the shapes by size, color or type. 

Ideas for polar animal plastic figures
--Have the children sort the animals by size.
--Have the children sort the animals by the kind they like the best to least.
--Buy two or more sets and have the children sort the animals by type.
--Supply the children with a balance and let them experiment.
--Have the chidlren count the animals.
--Supply the children with cards with numbers on them. Large playing cards work well. Have the children place the appropriate number of animals on each card. Ie 4 animals on the card that has a 4 (or 4 of diamonds) on it. 
--Put snow in your sand and water table (or clean dish pan) and let the children play with the animals. 
--Put the polar animals in the block area, encourage the children to create mountians and glaciers with the blocks for the animals to live and play on. 
--Supply the children with paint and white paper, and give them a figure of a polar animal. Have them dip the animals feet in the paint them press on the paper to make polar animal tracks. 

Kid Classics Wooden Pick-a-Penguin from Amazon.com
Manufacturer Description Be the first player to find all 4 of your penguins by matching their bottom color with your igloo color and win! It's a great way for children 3+ to learn more about color matching, concentration and memory skills. Guaranteed for life under the Lost Piece Replacement Program.

Lacing Cards
Cut colored posterboard into a polar animal shapes and punch holes around the edges. Them let your child lace yarn or a shoestring into the cards. 

Stamping Patterns
Use polar animal rubber stamps to create a simple patterm on the top half of a piece of paper. Ask your child to help you recreate the pattern on the bottom half of the paper. Tip: Start with one stamp, and have your child pick which stamp you used. Start slowly and work your way up to more complicated patterns.

What time is it Mr Bear?
Played like What time is it Mr. Fox?

Penguin Hop
Play the bunny hop song and have the children pretend to be penguins hopping around. 

Dramatic Play
Puppets are always a great addition to any dramatic play area, add an Emperor Penguin Puppet ,or a Snowy Owl Puppet, or other stuffed polar animals for the children to play with. Here's a great Crown Table Top Puppet Theatre.
Provide plastic balls for the children to try to balance on their noses.
Have the children pretend to be penguins and waddle. 

Songs 

Polar Bear
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, 
Turn around. 
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, 
Touch the ground. 
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, 
Shine your shoes. 
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, Skidoo. 
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, 
Go upstairs. 
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, 
Say your prayers. 
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, 
Turn out the light. 
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, 
Say good night. 

The Bear Went Over the Mountain 
Tune: For He's a Jolly Good Fellow 
The bear went over the mountain, 
The bear went over the mountain, 
The bear went over the mountain, 
To see what he could see 

To see what he could see, 
To see what he could see 

The other side of the mountain, 
The other side of the mountain, 
The other side of the mountain, 
Was all that he could see 

Was all that he could see, 
Was all that he could see, 
The other side of the mountain, 
Was all that he could see! 

The Penguin Song
by chicky sung to "Mary Had a Little Lamb"
Penguins like the cold weather,
cold weather,
cold weather,
Penguins like the cold weather,
And they like to play.

Penguins like to swim and play
swim and play,
swim and play,
Penguins like to swim and play
And they rest at night 

Books 
Ice Cream Larryby Jill Pinkwater
The Singing Snowbearby Carol Grigg
Little Polar Bear and the Husky Pupby Hans De Beer, Rosemary Lanning
Little Polar Bearby Hans De Beer, Rosemary Lanning
A for Antarcticaby Jonathan Chester
The Polar Bear (Animal Close-Ups) by Valerie Tracqui
The Penguin (Animal Close-Ups) by Beatrice Fontanel,Andre Fatras, Yves Cherel
Counting Penguins (Science Emergent Readers)by Betsey Chessen, Pamela Chanko
Whiteblack the Penguin Sees the Worldby Margret Rey, H. A. Rey 
Tacky and the Emperorby Helen Lester, Lynn Munsinger