We set up two centers today that provided children with an opportunity to explore cold habitats. The first we envisioned as an Arctic setting and contained small Arctic animals (snow hare, polar bear, seal, walrus, whale), snow and 'ice' mountains to help establish the setting and inspire creative play. The children were very excited upon seeing the playscape and it was one of our most popular morning centers.
The second center had three play polar bears. We invited the children to imagine how they might want to set up this habitat. After a discussion about what we knew about polar bears and where they lived, a few children used white styrofoam and paper to create an ice cave for their bears to use. These children spent the whole play time first creating and then using their Arctic setting with the polar bears.
Some Ontario Curriculum that this activity fulfilled included: