Sunday, February 1, 2015

Polar Fun

We began this program with a brief video explaining the aurora borealis phenomenon.  We also showed parts of various time lapse videos so they could see the different colors that can make up the aurora.

Science Experiment: Blubber
We filled a large tub with water and ice.  Inside a baggie we placed a rubber glove covered in crisco.  First we had them place a bare hand in the water to gauge the temperature.  Then, they placed one hand inside the glove and placed the baggie in the water.  We asked if they felt any difference.  Obviously they did, so we then talked about how animals that live in the arctic and antarctic have a thick layer of blubber to help them stay warm in the frigid waters.

Science Experiment: Large Feet/Snowshoes
In a small, shallow container we placed some flour.  First we had the kids drop a pencil eraser side down and look to see how far it sank into the flour.  Then we had them drop it lengthwise and compare the new depth with the old.  Since the pencil dropped lengthwise didn't sink as far as the eraser side did, we explained that is why polar bears have huge feet and why snowshoes are worn to help people travel in snow.  The larger surface area spreads the weight more evenly, keeping them from sinking into the snow.

Craft: Arctic Silhouettes
Using watercolors, the kids painted a sheet of paper.  Then we had them cut any kind of silhouette they wanted out of black construction paper and glue it on the painted paper.

Craft: Arctic Fox Fans
We found these online ( and printed off copies of the arctic fox for the kids to create.

We used crayons to add shading and color to the image.

Game: Penguin Egg Relay
The kids had an opportunity to race each other across the room while holding a large plastic egg between their legs.

This was hard for the kids, but they had fun trying.

Attendance: 20, 6
Evaluation: This was fun, however we had a hard time finding age appropriate activities to fill the hour.  The fan was hard for the kids to fold, although they liked the finished product.  The silhouettes were fun and each child came up with something different.  Talking about the aurora borealis and it's colors helped them select colors for their paper.  Unfortunately, the watercolors we have are not the best, so didn't spread well on the paper.  Better quality watercolors would have made a huge difference.  The blubber experiment was very messy, but very informative for the kids.  They were amazed at the difference they felt in the water temperature.  

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