6 Polar Animals Science Activities for Toddlers to Discover Arctic Animal Secrets

Join us on an exciting adventure into the icy world of Arctic animals with these polar animal science activities. Through hands-on experiments and engaging activities, we’ll explore how Arctic animals adapt and survive. From blubber experiments to penguin feather mysteries and ice-melting observations to camouflage fun, let’s dive into the wonders of polar animals and ignite your little ones’ curiosity!

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Polar Animals Lesson Plans

These weekly lesson plans for a polar animal preschool theme include Arctic animal books to read aloud, literacy activities, Arctic animal math activities and centers, art activities, fine motor activities, sensory bins, and polar animal science activities.

Polar Animals Science Activities

Arctic Animal Photographs

I know I use adorable clipart to create all of my activities, but I also know photographs are a powerful bridge to connect preschoolers with real-life Arctic animals. 


Photographs provide a window into the captivating world of these Arctic animals. Trust me, I used to have a poster of Orlando Bloom from Pirates of the Caribbean taped on my ceiling, and I definitely felt like I could see into the depths of his soul.


Photographs also evoke a sense of wonder and curiosity, sparking conversations and inspiring further exploration. 


So get out your clothesline or tacks or tape or whatever you use, and set up these photographs of polar animals to begin the wonderings in your classroom.


Polar Animals

Feet vs. Flipper Sort

“Flippin’ your fins, you don’t get too far. Legs are required for jumping, dancing.”


I’m not so sure Ariel was right on this one. 


I just keep picturing walruses plopped on an iceberg versus them swimming in the water. But then again, I also pictured walruses jumping and dancing, which is very funny indeed. 


Anyway, let’s help our preschoolers focus on the adaptations of polar animals (and not a walrus dancing) by sorting the animals based on whether they have feet or flippers. 

This feet and flipper sort can spark discussions on whether these animals spend most of their time on land or in the icy water.


Penguin Feather Experiment

Polar Animals Preschool Activities

When it comes to water, I’m the Wicked Witch of the West. I will literally melt (especially if it’s on a day when I did my hair and makeup). What a world, what a world!


I frankly wish I had water-repellant feathers like penguins. Sigh. I guess that’s why I live in 300+ days of Colorado sunshine.


To show toddlers (who might love rain now but will wish for hair-saving miracles later) how penguins stay dry, we did a quick and easy demonstration. 

First, we colored our little hand muscles out to give the penguins a waxy finish. Then, we used pipettes to slowly drip blue water onto the penguin, demonstrating how the wax in the crayons is like the wax in penguin feathers that keeps them dry.


Ice Experiment

Polar Science Activities for Preschoolers

You know I love you. I did this ice experiment six times (about a half hour each time) to figure this out for you. 


We tried it with hot and cold water, all substances dissolved in water, and then finally, the way you can see here. But let me tell you a little secret: every time we did this experiment, the results were different. Ah, I know all of you scientists-at-heart are cringing at this. I was, too.


But for the sake of our preschoolers (and some icy fun), we just made it into a race to see which substance melted the ice first. 


Will it be air, sand, water, sugar, salt, or baking soda? Gather your predictions onto the graph, measure out the different substances, and then let the race begin! 

Note: This is not a fast race. It’s a thirty-minute race, so have a read-aloud or a game prepared while you observe the melting ice.


Blubber Experiment

Arctic Animals Science Experiments

I’m always cold. In the winter, you’ll see me wrapped in a robe and tromping around in slippers. In the summer: sweatshirts in July.


And just like I wrap myself in layers to warm up, so do these polar animals – with blubber.


To demonstrate how important fat is to Arctic animals, we did a little blubber experiment. 


First, we stuck a finger in a bowl of ice water to see how long we could hold it there. Then, we stuck the same finger in surrounded by shortening (as a layer of fat). We could sit there all day and not get cold thanks to our “blubber”!


Tip: Add a spoonful of shortening into the corner of a plastic bag. Then, add another bag on the inside to keep all those little fingers clean and grease-free. Tape the rims of the bags together.


Polar Animals Camouflage

Arctic Adaptations

I am well past the stage where I care what I look like. I rarely notice if anyone even glances my way anymore. 


But when I traveled to Paris, I instantly felt that jolt of “they know I’m a tourist.”


And you want to know what my dead giveaway was: a white winter coat. 


Yup! There was no chance to pretend I was a Parisian in a sea of black coats. (At least I was easy to spot in a crowd.)


But, good news for these Arctic animals: their fur changes from season to season to help them easily blend in and order that cappuccino past noon (another tourist giveaway).


Your preschoolers will love sliding the transparent Arctic fox, hare, and weasel from winter to summer to see how their fur camouflages them from predators. 

And maybe they’ll figure out how to blend in when traveling, too!


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MORE Polar Animal Activities for Preschoolers

Arctic Animal Books for Preschoolers
Polar Animal Math Activities
Polar Animals Fine Motor Activities
Polar Animal Art Activities
Polar animal science activities
Polar animals literacy activities

After working your way through each of these polar animals science activities, your toddlers will have a new love for all things Arctic. I can picture their wide eyes and inquisitive minds soaking up new information about polar animals and their adaptations. Dive right in and experience the fun alongside your toddlers!

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