With winter upon us, now is the perfect time to consider teaching an arctic animals preschool theme. There are so many creative activities about arctic animals to do with preschoolers. Try these free arctic animals preschool lesson plans, and be sure to check out all my best preschool thematic activities.
Free Preschool Lesson Plans for Arctic Animals Theme
Now that winter’s here, I’m planning a series of learning activities to teach my preschoolers about arctic animals.
Arctic animals are those that live in the Arctic region, which is the northernmost part of the world. It consists of the Arctic ocean and parts of Canada, Russia, Alaska, and a few Nordic countries. If you want to include penguins, then you can do a polar animals theme or polar habitat.
The animals that live in this chilly environment are known as arctic animals, and they are specially adapted to life in this unique region of the world.
That’s what makes an arctic theme in preschool so fun.
These are not your average animals; they all have special characteristics that make them well-equipped to living in an environment where there is ice, snow, and frozen ground nearly year-round.
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These 16+ preschool activities are a week-long set of preschool lesson plans and are part of my Learn At Home Preschool Lesson Plans Collection.
This collection of done-for-you, print-and-teach lesson plans for preschoolers consists of over fifty weekly lesson plan sets for preschoolers.
Hands-on Arctic Animals Activities for Preschoolers
It doesn’t get easier to teach about animals in winter than with these arctic animals preschool lesson plans.
Since these lesson plans are a part of my Learn At Home Collection, they include a series of arctic animals activities in specific content areas. These lesson plans and activities will include the following:
- arctic animals literacy activities
- arctic animals math activities
- science activities for arctic theme
- arctic themed sensory bins and art activities
- social-emotional activities using arctic animals
- and even safe online music and videos
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Although there are over 50 sets of free Learn At Home Preschool Lesson Plans to date, I have gathered them together in a convenience bundle to save you time!
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Literacy Activities for an Arctic Animals Theme
Arctic Animal Letter Order Puzzles – These arctic animal letter puzzles are so engaging and help to practice logic, alphabetical order, and letter identification. Simply print, cut, and enjoy! Invite your preschooler to put the puzzle together based on the next letter in the alphabet. Encourage them to say the letters on each puzzle piece out loud and to try and include the letter sound.
Arctic Animals Alphabet Playdough – Grab some light-colored playdough (like white, light blue, or gray) and some floral pebbles or small rocks. Make a pancake with the playdough, then draw a letter in the pancake. Finally, use the floral pebbles or rocks to “trace” over the letter. The addition of the floral pebbles helps develop the fine motor skills needed for holding a pencil correctly. Try making all the letters in your preschooler’s name.
Don’t Forget Picture Books
Every preschool theme needs some well-written picture books to support it. This is a book list of my favorite picture books about arctic animals. Just click on the book cover to see more. They are all great for preschool, pre k, and kindergarten.
I like to use them as a way to introduce my students to our arctic animal themed activities.
Math and Science Activities for an Arctic Animals Theme
Polar Bear Path Counting – Cut a piece of white paper lengthwise into four even strips. Draw irregular circles down the length of each strip to make them look like snowballs, then tape the strips together end-to-end. Use a small token to be a polar bear. Roll a die and move the polar bear along the path. Continue until the bear reaches the end.
Arctic Animal Race to the Top – Roll the die and graph the arctic animals as you race your way to the top! If you don’t have a printer you can draw simple images.
Blubber Science – Use this to explain how blubber keeps animals warm. Make a bowl of ice water and set aside. Have your preschooler wear a latex glove, or wrap their pointer finger in plastic wrap. Then cover their finger in a solid fat, like butter, shortening, or lard. Invite your preschooler to put their fat-covered finger or hand into the icy water. Can you still feel the cold? Why or why not?
Playful Learning Activities for an Arctic Animals Theme
Igloo Animals – Create a fort or “igloo” out of pillows, blankets, and/or sheets. Dub that space the igloo and encourage your preschooler to crawl into their igloo as different animals. Invite them to make the animal sounds! Make the fun last even longer by reading your favorite books inside the igloo.
Arctic Animal Puppets – Using paper lunch bags, grab assorted craft materials from around the house and make arctic animal puppets. Use googly eyes, pipe cleaners, stickers, feathers, you name it! Once the puppets are dry…put on a puppet show!
Move Like an Arctic Animal – How do different arctic animals move about? Invite your preschooler to pretend to be different arctic animals. Bear crawl, slide like a seal, poke like a narwhal, etc.
Social-Emotional Activities for an Arctic Animals Theme
Icy Calm Down Jar – When our emotions get high, we need ways to calm our body and spirit. This arctic soothing jar is perfect for helping to regulate big feelings. Grab an empty plastic bottle, some baby or mineral oil, and silver/white glitter. Add the oil to the plastic bottle, then add the glitter. Hot glue the lid on to ensure no accidents! Encourage your preschooler to shake the bottle and watch the glitter fall to the bottom. Add arctic animals if you have them!
Polar Opposites – Go to YouTube and listen to the story Polar Opposites by Erik Brooks and learn about where polar bears live. What happens when you have two animals that live on opposite poles? You have polar opposites!
These two animals (Alex the polar bear and Zina the penguin) learn that they like and do things in a very opposite way. But they soon learn that there is always room to meet in the middle and get along! This story is a great starting point to teach young children how to get along and be friends even if they are around someone who does things differently or has different interests.
Don’t Forget Arctic Themes Toys
Having the right toys and manipulatives can really enhance your preschool theme. You can use these toys in arctic sensory bins, or other lessons about arctic animals. Add them to your dramatic play center and students can pretend to be veterinarians taking care of arctic foxes and snowy owls, for example.
Just click on the image to learn more.
Just Plain Fun Activities for an Arctic Animals Theme
Arctic Animal Rescue – Place a toy arctic animal in a freezer-safe bowl. Fill the bowl to the top with water and add a drop of blue food coloring. Freeze the bowl(s) overnight and invite your preschooler to rescue the animal the next day! Use any tools you have handy to melt the ice, like an eyedropper and warm water.
Snowball Transfer Game – Grab some mini marshmallows and transfer the “snowballs” to another bin for icy play! Or use full-sized marshmallows and tongs for extra hand strengthening work.
Arctic Playdough Tracks – Grab some arctic animal toys (or animals that live in other habitats) and some playdough. Invite your preschooler to make animal tracks through the snow, ice, water, or land playdough.
Get Online Activities for an Arctic Animal Theme
Online Story – Go to YouTube and listen to the book Way Up in the Arctic by Jennifer Ward. This non-fiction book is full of arctic animal facts and counting opportunities. Invite your preschooler to pick an arctic animal to draw. Encourage your preschooler to draw the animal in its arctic habitat and to listen for the first sound in the animal’s name. Assist your preschooler in labeling the animal with that letter sound.
Baby Beluga – Enjoy the classic and timeless song of this icy arctic whale. Enjoy the rhyming and sweet verses!
10 Arctic Animals – Get up close and personal with 10 arctic animals!
Grab Your Free Arctic Preschool Lesson Plans
Think your preschoolers might enjoy these chilly and frosted arctic themed activities? Grab your free lesson plans by clicking the image below.
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.