Thursday, 24 January 2013

Life in the polar region

Cold has been upon us big time lately.  Yesterday was a record day of -39 degrees.  We are talking about fast frost bite upon getting outside if a part of your skin is uncovered.


Our time outside has thus been somehow limited this week, and so what better days to learn about Arctic and Polar regions?  We sure have the feel of how cold these regions can be all year round (or almost...)

I took the Polar animals play to another level.  Producing ice is more then easy right now, and it is really fast.

I had planned this activity for E, but again, all three of them were interested in participating, and the activity triggered many questions about ice, cold, Polar regions, frost and so on

E's interest was the name of the animals, both in english and french.  He played a lot about the connections between mothers and babies.

X's interest was more about the interaction constituting the food chain: who eats who and most of all how.  His other very deep interest was about the evolution of the block of ice.  Why we heard the ice crack, if this could happen in the Polar regions too, and what were the consequences of this.  Why the middle of the ice was melting sooner then the top part and so on.  I left the bin out for most part of the day, and I saw him go back and forth to see what happens as the ice melts.  He did until the ice cracked under the weight of the animals, this is the part he was waiting for.

E brought his book out to enhance the play.  He loved copying some of the scenes of the book on our ice patch.

How I did that:

I used Schleish animals, although the scales are not compatible... (which irritated me a little).
To make the hole in the ice, I used a plastic bowl.  I left the bin outside with the bowl in it yesterday during the day.  The bowl was filled with sand so that it could sink in the water.  DOn't fill it with water, unless you don't mind leaving the plastic bowl in the ice patch.
Right after dinner, I got it in so that the ice would melt just enough so that I could remove the plastic bowl.  As soon as this was done, I returned the bin outside until this morning.  Then we just had to add water to simulate the ocean.
The same could be done in a big freezer; right now here, the freezer is used for free...


  1. That is a brilliant activity! And I am amazed to see how different the children' interests were. Good for them, good for you. They must have learnt a lot!

  2. I didn't know there were penguins in north pole (or polar bears in south pole)!
    Just kidding... great activity, very imaginative

  3. What a great idea!