Books on Seals and Walruses:
Some of our favorites this week included:
Caroline Arnold’s A Walrus’ World
A True Book of Walruses by Emilie U. Lepthien
And these that are perfect for beginning readers:
Seal Pups by Colleen Sexton
Seals by Carol K. Lindeen
Walruses by Martha E. H. Rustad
Seals by Emily Rose Townsend
The Cousteau Society’s Seals
Though we couldn’t find any books on Narwals, we did enjoy a video from National Geographic. So, by the end of the week, we added three more pages to our book of amazing animal facts.
We watched Arctic Tale and thought it was fabulous. However, I feel the need to say that I always preview videos and books before sharing them with my children and I encourage you to do the same. The video follows the early years of life for Nanu - a polar bear cub, and Seela - a walrus pup, through the struggles they face in finding food, running from predators, and dealing with the challenges of melting sea ice. It includes incredibly beautiful footage showing seals, narwals, beluga whales, and killer whales. It was amazing to get a glimpse of these animals in action and to learn so much more about them and their changing conditions.
At the very end of Arctic Tale, as the credits are rolling, children share an inspiring series of clips challenging us with “IF”…if you turn out the lights…if you walk, ride your bike or carpool more…if you take shorter showers…if you use less electricity, etc…then we can help stop the polar ice from shrinking. Beautiful. Powerful. Moving. So after the video, we read Polar Bear, Why is Your World Melting? by Robert E. Wells, and the girls each created a poster to hang above a light switch in our home reminding them how they can help!
Tissue Paper Polar Bear
We read The Last Polar Bear by Jean Craighead George and made these polar bear faces inspired by I Heart Crafty Things.However, if you look closely at ours, you may notice a touch of black showing through our polar bear’s fur. Since we didn’t have any white paper plates on hand, we decided to use black paper as our base…after all,we learned that a polar bear’s black skin is just one of the things that contributes to him being able to stay warm in the harsh arctic conditions.
Paint Like a Seal
Our stART project this week was Polar Bear Night. You can read more about the two snowglobes we made to go along with it here.
We put a new spin on a Cranium Polar Bear game that we have and it easily kept all 3 kiddos busy for a solid hour! They just couldn’t get enough of it! The object of the gameboard is to fish for magnetic letters to spell various words and when you win, polar bear gets to take a “plunge”. But this time, instead of using the gameboard, we created the icy arctic waters in plastic tub, complete with ice floes and arctic animals. I put our word cards in plastic bags and then added plastic magnetic letters to the tub, which were then fished out with magnetic fishing poles. It was nice to have the word cards and fishing poles already on hand, but you could easily make your own!
Water and Ice Experiment
We conducted a simple science experiment that we’d found on the Seaworld website to see which holds a greater amount of water, a cup of water, crushed ice, or cubed ice. We made our prediction, checked on it periodically, and recorded our results. It was fun to hear them occasionally say “Wow!” as they went back to check on things. The same resource includes two additional experiments about salt water that we’ll be attempting in the coming weeks.
And as much fun as we had with all of this, I’d have to say that the highlight of our week was probably the Bakerella inspired polar bear snowglobe cupcakes that we enjoyed while celebrating my little one’s 4 1/2 birthday!
Next week, we plan on learning more about the whales of the arctic. And if you haven’t already seen them, you may want to visit last week’s polar bear activities.