Arctic Activities

“Pup and Bear” by Kate Banks, is a sweet story about kindness, in which a lost wolf pup is raised by a polar bear. We had received it through the Imagination Library, and it became an instant classic in our home. So of course we had to have some fun with it on this snowy day.

After we read the story, we talked about kindness. Name a few of the ways the polar bear was able to help the pup? When have you been kind to someone else?

Letter of the Day

Today we went with the letter Ii for ice and igloo. I had cut out the shape of the igloo in black, but told her to leave space for a doorway. I drew a line for the slope and let my daughter cut it out. I cut 4 rectangles for her to build the upper and lower case i’s, along with the little circle. Then I let her glue it all together. Next time I would let her cut the tiny squares for the snow and igloo. However, I didn’t think about it and already had snippets of paper. It might even look unique if the child ripped squares instead of cutting.


Going along with the letter i, we played a math game I called Iceberg Jumping to help with number recognition. Set up is super easy. All you need is one dice, six pieces of paper, and a marker. Take the 6 pieces of paper and number them 1 through 6. These will represent icebergs. I used large, 18″x12″ paper to give a larger target to land on. However, any size paper should do. Randomly place them on the floor (I would recommend a carpeted floor so they don’t slip. Otherwise, tape the paper down). Now roll the dice and jump to the iceberg with the corresponding number. But, don’t “splash down in the water.” The child can leap from iceberg to iceberg to get to the number needed, if it’s too far of a jump. I had Pookie count the dots on the dice some of the time, while I called out the number rolled for the other times.

Even more fun with friends.

We played a few rounds with Pookie on her own, but then things got interesting when older sis’ and brother joined in. To accommodate more players, I wrote up two more sets of numbers and added them into the mix. Two of my children pretended to be seals and the third pretended to be a hungry polar bear. Now when they rolled the dice the seals tried to pick a number farthest away from the polar bear, meanwhile the polar bear (who rolls last) tries to chase down the seals. This made things very exciting and everyone was quick to roll the dice to keep moving. This meant Pookie had to think fast to find her number.

*Note: If your child can add, you could have numbers 1-12 and roll two die.


How do polar bears stay warm in the cold arctic? “Fur!” Yes, fur is one of the factors that keep a polar bear warm. What color is a polar bear’s fur? We watched this ten minute video on polar bears and found out the true color of their fur. 

Another way polar bears keep warm is with blubber.This is a thick layer of fat under the skin of marine mammals. So this is also true of seals, walruses, and whales. Let’s see how effective blubber might be against the icy water of the Arctic.

For this experiment, you will need:

1 Rubber glove


Big bowl

Cold water 

Ice cubes

First, fill the bowl about ⅔ full with cold water. Fill it the rest of the way with ice. Let it sit for one minute to chill the water. Then have the child place her hand in the water. “It’s super cold!” 

Now put on the rubber glove, and thickly cover it with shortening all over. Once it is caked on there really well, submerge the gloved hand. Is there a difference? Is the water more tolerable now?


All this talk about the Arctic, we need to take a look at the map. The Arctic is at the North Pole. It consists of the Arctic Ocean, parts of Alaska, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Northern Canada, Norway, Russia and Sweden.

We love Ranger Rick magazines and hang on to the old ones to cut out pictures. So we found a picture of a polar bear and placed it on the map. Now everytime we look at the map in our school room, we will remember where the Arctic is located. 

You can see the polar bear on Greenland. The other discs on our map are from Five In A Row.

We all watched Explore the Artic for Kids: Artic Animals and Climate for Kids. It’s about 20 minutes long and my older kids enjoyed it as well. 


Before going back outside we listened to this Weather Song for Children with sign language by Patty Shukla 

Our friendly snowman

Published by Home Study from the Grateful Heart

Welcome new friends. I'm Heather, a homeschooling mama raising three children alongside my husband. I love to walk our two dogs, photograph nature, and write poetry. As a family, we love reading together, creating art, sports and all things nature. We also enjoy sharing our learning experiences with friends and creating co-op opportunities. I enjoy writing about our homeschool adventures, as well as nature and sharing recipes. My heart is grateful for my family, our homeschool, our friends and homeschool community, as well as the nature around us. In addition to following my blog, you can find me on Facebook at Home Study from the Grateful Heart.

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