Are you starting an arctic or polar bear-themed unit with your preschooler? Polar bears are arctic animals that live in icy climates. This list of 30 polar bear activities can help get you started. The bear-themed and arctic-themed activities below are provided in a range of subjects such as art, math, writing, and science. There are also a variety of polar bear books that can be read during circle time to lead you into these activities. Check out the list below to get started on your fun lesson plans!
1. P is for Polar Bear
2. Polar Bear Shape Practice
For this activity, students get to practice shape matching by feeding the fish with the matching shape to the polar bear. To make the bear you can print out a polar bear picture or make one. Then paste the picture on a shoebox. Cut a hole by the mouth so that students can actually feed him.
Learn more: Sandbox Academy
3. Polar Bear Tracks
Students write their names with paw print stickers. They can decorate their paper with other arctic-themed craft materials.
Learn more: Mrs. Plemon's Kindergarten
4. Polar Bear Book Activity
There are a few fiction polar bear books that you can read to students during circle time. "Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you Hear?" by Eric Carle is a great book. For this activity, read the book to the students, and then have students color the hat and print it out as you go through the different animals.
Learn more: Books & Giggles
5. Why Are Polar Bears White?
In this science activity, students will learn about polar bear adaptations and characteristics. You can show a quick nonfiction video clip or read a little bit from a nonfiction book about polar bear camouflage. You will need a white piece of cardboard and different animal figures (including polar bears). Students will see that polar bears blend into the cardboard and other non-white animals do not.
Learn more: Still Playing School
6. Ice Sensory Bin Activity
In this sensory bin activity, students can use different tools, wooden hammers, tweezers, syringes, various household items, etc. to play with and explore the texture and temperature of ice. Polar bears live on ice. You can also add plastic polar bears to the sensory bin so they can play on the ice.
Learn more: Twin Mom Refreshed
7. Build a Polar Bear Igloo STEM Activity
8. Polar Bear Track Patterns Cards
For this activity, you will need pattern sheets like the ones below. They are very simple to make or you can find a printable version online. You also need two to five different colors of play-doh depending on how complex you want to make the patterns. You also need to have a bear print stamp. Students will practice making the patterns with the play-doh and then place a stamp into each ball in the pattern to make it represent bear tracks.
Learn more: Mrs. Plemon's Preschool
9. Science - Ice Melt Activity
Since polar bears love cold weather, this activity shows how to make the ice melt. Kids can put salt, sugar, sand, and dirt on ice to see what causes it to melt faster. To keep it clean and organized, put the ice and materials in a cupcake or muffin pan.
Learn more: Little Bins for Little Hands
10. Letter Matching
In this polar bear letter matching game, you will have to download a set of lower and uppercase letters like the ones pictured below. Students match the polar bear (capital letter) with the ice block (lower case letter).
Learn more: ABCs of Literacy
11. Arctic Themed Snow Slime
This is a great polar bear sensory activity that includes practice with mixing pre-measured materials. What preschooler does love slime? In this activity, you make slime using borax, glue, and baking soda. To make this slime arctic theme, you can add white and silver glitter. You can also add in snowflake confetti. Polar bear characters also are a fun addition so students can use them during their sensory play.
Learn more: Little Bins for Hands
12. Polar Bear Shapes
Cut different shapes out of white paper. Have students glue a polar bear face on their shape (eyes, nose, mouth, ears). After everyone is finished go over each shape.
Learn more: Non-Toy Gifts
13. Polar Bear Mask
14. Ice Painting
Ice painting is good for students to be artistic and practice fine motor skills. Students can paint a bin full of ice using various paint types and colors. Students can also be given different size brushes, syringes, and any other object to spread the paint with. It's super fun and looks very pretty once they are done. Make sure to give them a lot of white paint so that it resembles snow.
Learn more: Modern Preschool
15. Polar Bear Number Tracing
Students can practice tracing their numbers on an arctic-themed sheet.
Learn more: Planning Playtime
16. Grow or Shrink a Polar Bear
Gummy bears are placed into different solutions ( tap water, vinegar, and saltwater) overnight. Students then see if the polar bears grew or shrunk in the different solutions. This is a good science activity where you can talk about osmosis (water moving in and out).
Learn more: Sprinkle Topped Teacher
17. Handprint Polar Bear
All you need is white paint, a piece of construction paper, and your hand! This activity is great to have students practice painting their own hands and making a handprint on paper. Check out the image below to see how you can turn your handprint into a polar bear.
Learn more: Juggling Act Mama
18. How do Polar Bears Stay Warm?
In this activity, kids will learn about insulation and how arctic animals keep warm in the icy waters. Students will first place their finger or hand into a bucket of ice water to feel how cold the temperature is. Next students will place a glove on and dip their hand into Crisco or another kind of shortening. This provides their hand with a layer of blubber. Students will then feel the temperature difference when they put their hands back into the bucket.
Learn more: I Can Teach My Child
19. Polar Bear Paw Counting
20. Polar Bears Animal Sorting Activity
Kids will learn about the arctic and that polar bears live in the cold. They will talk about other animals that live with polar bears. Have kids sort the animals based on if they live in a polar biome.
Learn more: Life Over Cs
21. How Big is a Polar Bear Paw?
22. Paper Plate Polar Bear
Who doesn't love a great paper plate craft? Students can create a paper plate polar bear. All you need is a paper plate, cotton balls, glue, and black construction paper. This is a great polar bear craft that looks cuddly.
Learn more: Mom Brite
23. Paper Bag Polar Bear Cave
Students can do an art project and create a polar bear cave using a paper bag and cotton balls to mimic snow.
Learn more: Fairy Dust Teaching
24. Polar Bear on Ice Craft
Students glue a polar bear together (following an example) and place the picture on a piece of paper that resembles ice.
Learn more: Crafty Morning
25. Polar Bear Number Cards
26. Polar Bear Fact Sheet
27. Edible Marshmallow Bears
In this activity, students will build an edible marshmallow polar bear. It is great practice for following instructions on how to connect the head and the feet. You can use icing or candy to make the polar bear face. It's also an awesome treat to eat when you are done.
Learn more: Darcy and Brian
28. Polar Bear Paw Shapes Coloring
29. Polar Bear Cookies
For this activity, you can bake or buy flat sugar cookies. Students can then create a bear design using toppings.
Learn more: Primary Theme Park
30. Polar Bear Math Game
Students will roll dice and move their polar bear around this premade simple game board. It's a great way to have students practice counting and waiting their turn. It's also a lot of fun to play with friends.
Learn more: Little Family Fun