Thursday, December 15, 2016

Montessori-Inspired Arctic Animal Activities Using Free Printables

By Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now 

Arctic animals are lots of fun to study in the winter. So are Antarctic animals. To help anyone who's confused understand that penguins are in the Southern Hemisphere, I'm sharing only ideas for Arctic animal activities today. 

I have a post at Living Montessori Now with free Arctic animal printables. Some of the printables include penguins. They're still great printables, but be sure to leave out the penguins unless you're studying both the Arctic and Antarctica. 

You'll find many activities for preschoolers through first graders throughout the year along with presentation ideas in my previous posts at PreK + K Sharing. You'll also find ideas for using free printables to create activity trays here: How to Use Printables to Create Montessori-Inspired Activities

At Living Montessori Now, I have a post with resource links of Free Printables for Montessori Homeschools and Preschools

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. 

Arctic Matching Activity with Safari Ltd. Arctic Figures Plus Arctic Cards Arctic Tray with Safari Ltd Arctic Figures Plus Arctic Cards 

Free Printable: Safari Ltd. Arctic TOOB Key 

Free Printable: Arctic Animals (to match non-human animals in Safari Ltd. Arctic TOOB) from Arctic Unit Culture and Geography Pack by Every Star is Different or Animals of the Arctic 3-Part Cards (to match Safari Ltd. TOOB) by Montessori Soul 

For this activity, I used a large white Montessori Services tray (which looks much nicer in reality ... these days of early darkness make getting decent photos much harder)a clear acrylic tray, and the figures from the Safari Ltd. Arctic TOOB

Matching Safari Ltd. Arctic Figures with the Safari Ltd. Arctic TOOB Key

My 3-year-old granddaughter, Zoey, loved this activity. I'll add in the card matching next time.

Animals of the Arctic Roll and Bump Game (Counting or Addition) Animals of the Arctic Roll and Bump Game  

Free Printable: Animals of the Arctic Bump Game from The Preschool Mom 

For this activity, I used a large white Montessori Services tray, clear glass gems to cover the numbers (I like that you can still see the numbers), a dice, and a small container for the glass gems. 

This can be a simple counting and number identification game using one dice. Or you can use two dice for an addition game. You can choose whether or not you want a child to be able to bump another child off a space already taken. Or two children can play this cooperatively, taking turns rolling the dice to see how soon they together can fill the page. 

DIY Polar Bear Cub Cards and Counters Polar Bear Cub Cards and Counters 

Free Printable: Polar Bear Numbers (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) You'll find phonics printables in the polar bear pack along with the polar bear numbers. 

I used a Montessori Services medium-size tray and glass bowl with 55 snowflake gems. (There are enough in a package to have 55 snowflakes, which is the exact number needed for Montessori cards and counters.) I love the snowflake gems (so does Zoey). They can be used for many activities. (I used them in last year's snowflake post.)

Polar Bear Cards and Counters Layout 

I like to lay out my numbers and counters in the traditional Montessori way of rows of two counters with a left-over counter centered below the bottom row. This gives a visual impression of odd and even. 

For more about creating DIY numbers and counters and a link on how to present the lesson, check out my DIY Cards and Counters post. 

I use a Montessori Services rug on the floor for the layout. 

Arctic Number Order and Skip Counting Puzzles Arctic Animal Number Puzzle 

Free Printable: Arctic Number Order and Skip Counting Puzzles by Gracehopper at Teachers Pay Teachers 

For this activity, I just used the printable and a basket for the strips. (I'm not sure where I found the basket.) 

There are a number of puzzles in this printable and a number of different options for skill level. You can just have a simple 1-10 puzzle, like this Arctic hare puzzle, an 11-20 puzzle, or a number of options for skip counting puzzles.

Nonfiction Beginning Reader Printable Book - Arctic (with Optional Gross-Motor Activities) What Lives in the Arctic? Book  

Free Printable: Nonfiction Beginning Reader Printable Book - Arctic by Hope Laugh Teach at Teachers Pay Teachers (Note: Be sure to remove the page with the penguin.

For this activity, I used two binder rings (although you could staple it together) and a small tabletop easel to display the book on the shelf. 

For a young preschooler, you can assemble the book. For an advanced preschooler through first grader, the child can cut apart the pages, assemble the book, and read the book independently. 

I love the versatility of this printable! For children who are interested, you can use this for a gross motor and drama activity. "Polar bears walk in the Arctic. Rabbits hop in the Arctic. Walruses snort in the Arctic. Seals swim in the Arctic. Foxes blend in the Arctic." The child can simply act out the words on each page. 

Another idea would be for a young child to find the Safari Ltd. Arctic animals that match the animals pictured in the book.

More Free Arctic Animal Printables

Go to my post at Living Montessori Now for links to free Arctic Animal printables from around the blogosphere: Free Arctic Animal Printables and Montessori-Inspired Arctic Animal Activities. And be sure to subscribe to my email list if you'd like to get an exclusive free printable each month (plus two more awesome freebies right away): Free Printables.

More Arctic Animal Activities

Montessori at Home or School - How to Teach Grace and Courtesy eBook
If you'd like to focus on manners with children, please check out my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to Teach Grace and Courtesy! It's written for anyone who'd like to feel comfortable teaching manners to children ages 2-12. I'm also one of the coauthors of the book Learn with Play – 150+ Activities for Year-round Fun & Learning!

Have a wonderful winter! If you're in the Southern Hemisphere, you can cool down by focusing on the Arctic! 
Deb - Siganture
Deb Chitwood
Deb Chitwood is a certified Montessori teacher with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Studies from Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, England. Deb taught in Montessori schools in Iowa and Arizona before becoming owner/director/teacher of her own Montessori school in South Dakota. Later, she homeschooled her two children through high school. Deb is now a Montessori writer who lives in San Diego with her husband of 41 years (and lives in the city where her kids, kids-in-law, and toddler granddaughter live). She blogs at Living Montessori Now.

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