We are saying farewell to the Arctic today, finishing up a few last fun activities (a snow morphing arctic adventure and arctic animal track scavenger hunt) before moving on next week, and I think I am going to be sad. We had such a good time with this theme this month! It was a great way to start the year.
The past two weeks we learned about arctic foxes (my favorite), harp seals, beluga whales, walruses, and arctic wolves, which I timed to learn about on the night of the full wolf moon. We had quite a bit of fun with the art projects – the little salt dough clay seal turned out as cute as the narwhal did, the walrus was a fun thrown together project, and the fox was fun but sort of messy, which everyone hated. My mom and my niece do the same theme with us every month, which makes it more fun honestly. We have video chats once a week where the kids can show off their projects and work to each other and it is just a nice end to the week. Then they digress into showing off their toys and then being silly, but that is ok – they miss playing with each other!
We did a small “research” project, kindergarten style, at the end of the month, where each kid picked their favorite animal that we had studied and did a special paper on that animal, to kind of check what they remembered, etc. My niece chose the harp seal as her favorite, and Wyatt picked the narwhal, our very first animal that we did. He loved the arctic animal yoga we did this month too – I have to admit I liked the arctic hare pose and the beluga whale breathing as well. Lol. He will randomly and spontaneously do the narwhal pose, and it is so cute to hear him say it. Dinogirl’s favorite switched throughout the month, from narwhal to fox to seal, before settling on seal- Wyatt was pretty sold on either narwhal or polar bears the entire month. It was also a good month for speech for us, with a few really great breakthroughs.
We read quite a few books, but both kids loved the book Arctic White, and I agree it is a wonderful one. In the book, the girl and her grandfather live in an igloo, so we discussed how an igloo is a traditional home that is not really a home type anymore, that the Indigenous People of the arctic live in permanent, modern housing like Molly of Denali does. We did talk about igloos and their construction which was interesting, I learned a new word, catenary, which is the curve that an igloo forms – not a half circle shape. The kids thought a house made of snow was really cool, no pun intended. We tried our hand at building igloos out of sugar cubes. Wyatt and I were not successful, despite much trying…
My mom and niece were better engineers – my mom figured out a support system. She is much better at that sort of thing than I am.
We were planning on finishing up our unit by taking a field trip to the zoo to see the polar bears and wolves and the arctic fox but coincidentally, arctic air moved into the area and it is so cold! I didn’t feel comfortable taking Wyatt out into it, so I made new reservations for Valentines Day. We are also supposed to get a snowstorm tonight – the perfect entrance for our month long unit on snow and snowmen and all things winter!
Note: If printables include penguins, save those for a separate unit, as they live in the South Pole, not North
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Videos, Art, Experiments and Extras:
Wild Kratt’s episodes: Horn and Tusk Power, Baby Tooth