Math in the Arctic: 5 Polar Animal Math Activities for Preschoolers

You’ll feel like you’re sightseeing in the Arctic with these polar animal math activities! Grab your winter gear and immerse yourself in the coolness of the Arctic atmosphere as you and your students use narwhals, dog sleds, penguins, and other polar animals to reinforce a variety of math standards.

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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 animal Feeding

Counting Sensory Bin

Fun fact that my husband learned after we were married: I get hangry. 


All my blunt answers and snarky comments can be handled with a simple snack.


The good news is that now that he knows, emergency snacks are stashed everywhere.


But you won’t need to stash snacks for these polar animals in this counting sensory bin. They simply eat scoops of creatures from the sea (aka your sensory tub).

The printable animals have their mouths open wide, just waiting to be fed the correct amount of food. Count the corresponding number of scoops into the animal pictured on the card, and no one, not even the polar bear, has to get hangry.


Dog Sled Race Counting Activity

Polar Animal Math Activities

Prince Cooper. That’s what we call our dog. He is too royal to lay down on the floor (there must be some couch with a pillow involved to get him high enough on his throne), he sleeps all day, demands treats immediately after dinner, refuses to use the outdoor privy before bed (only when he jangles his bell collar in the middle of the night), and he wants to behead you if you put him in a kennel. 


The other thing about Cooper is that he can barely handle a mile walk (he is 11 years old now). So I’m pretty amazed at watching the dog sled races, which are 4 to 1,000 miles! 


Take your preschoolers on a mile walk to exemplify that fun fact! (Okay, that might not be so fun for you.)


Or just bring out this simple dog sled race activity.

Count the number of huskies, hook on the same number of linking chains, and then find the racer with the same number. And try not to wake Prince Cooper.


Penguin Pattern Activity

Fine Motor Math Center

It’s no secret that I often think the book is better than the movie. If you’ve ever read Mr. Popper’s Penguins and watched the movie, then you would definitely agree that this is true. 


Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you hide penguins in your basement or classroom. 


However, I am suggesting you use these Penguin Patterns to reinforce repeating patterns during your Arctic theme. 


Your preschoolers can explore over 50 penguin patterns as they practice patterning during your math centers, which will help them (and you) forget how terrible the movie was. 


Don’t have penguins? No problem. Just use the included printouts!


Narwhal Measure

Polar Animal Math Activities

Elf has always been one of my favorite Christmas movies. It’s charming, funny, and just an all-around feel-good movie. 


It is undoubtedly a memorable movie with some memorable lines… including when Mr. Narwhal exclaims, “Bye, Buddy! Hope you find your dad!” 


So when I was creating an Arctic Animal theme, I just knew I had to include a narwhal activity


I included a printable narwhal, tusk ruler, and fish to entice your learners into memorable learning. 


Your preschoolers will use a narwhal tusk ruler to match the number on the narwhal’s body and measure the corresponding fish – helping them practice measurement and counting. 

Who wouldn’t want to practice these skills with the unicorn of the sea!?


Polar Animals Graph

Arctic Math Activity for Preschool

Lions, tigers, polar bears, oh my! Well, really, just the polar bears are included in this captivating graphing activity. 


The printable spinner and graph are perfect for toddler hands to begin exploring graphing concepts. 


You can easily differentiate this activity by having students graph 1-5 or 1-10!

After each spin, meaningful conversations will occur, reinforcing various math skills – counting, comparing numbers (more or less), and noting if any are equal.



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Polar Animal Art Activities
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Can you feel the Arctic chill coming from these cool polar animal math activities? Your preschoolers will be begging to bundle up and revisit our polar math activities again and again.

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