Polar Lands Sensory Play

We have been learning about polar animals this term

Inspired by watching Snow Babies

Snow Bears and

Snow Chicks

Along with a documentary about Siberian tigers

Seeing the children engrossed in the documentaries

Motivated me to set up two small world play areas

One to be the Antarctic

The other The Arctic

Using our tuff spot

A bed sheet

With toys and household items

I set to work

The South Pole

polar land

For the base I used a blue sheet

To add colour and texture I used chiffon scarves

Blues, whites and purples

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To add different levels for play

I used plastic boxes

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Some of our Grimms Elements

Stacking Stones

And other wooden toys

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I used ocean coloured toys

To add depth to the scene

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Bowls that could be filled to make pools

And turned upside down to make ice and land

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I used Bacofoil trays for floating ice

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All the different small parts

Added interest and inspired different ways to play

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Glass beads were used to add sparkle and shine

Scarves made waves in the ocean

Penguins and seals played in the polar playground

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Fact and fiction books were placed in the play area

So that the children could act out stories

Or add true facts to their made up play

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All the children loved exploring this land

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They played together and individually

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Even Edie had a go

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After the children had explored Antarctica

They helped me to set up The Arctic

The North Pole

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To our pretty pink tuff tray

I added flour and salt

To create a multi layered landscape

We used transparent plastic bowls

And Bacofoil trays

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We then added all our arctic animals

Polar bears and cubs

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An arctic fox

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The arctic hare

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William was wonderful at narrating his play

Sounding like Kate Winslet from Snow Bears

Describing the amorous males

Following the female polar bear and her cubs

Describing how polar bears hunt their pray

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It was wonderful to see them using their knowledge in their play

Flour and salt make lovely sensory snow

Soft to touch with a hint of an icy sparkle

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To make it special for Bea

We added some Frozen characters

Which Esther and William really enjoyed playing with too

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It is such a privilege watching children play

I have loved watching penguin parents care for their egg

Penguin chicks huddle together for warmth

Polar bear cubs learn to hunt

Anna and Elsa making friends with an arctic fox

I have loved listening to Esther make up stories for Bea

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It has been magical seeing them use the resources I have laid out

In different ways

Creating their own settings and scenes

William loved burying creatures in the snow

Bea loved the feel of the cold glass beads

Esther loved making all the characters talk

So many ways to play

And so much to learn

We have talked lots about how animals survive in the cold

The journeys polar animals have to make to feed their young

We have talked about life cycles and food chains

Habitats and weather

We have also exercised our sensory muscles

And enjoyed the feel of the snow

The different textured materials

This has been a lovely way to while away some wintry hours

And to add an extra dimension to our learning

Through our play

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Here is another way to play with sensory snow


2 thoughts on “Polar Lands Sensory Play

  1. Hi Jennie,
    My phone isn’t working well so can’t seem to comment on Instagram, but hopefully this will reach you! Re Bea’s behaviour with Edie, try this:
    Talk to Esther about helping Bea and Edie get along and ask Esther to write Bea a letter and draw her an invitation to a sleepover in her room (this is a nice activity for E too!)
    The letter should invite Bea to sleep over in eg 2 days and say to ask mummy if it’s ok.
    You should then say you’ll need to think about it, because only 4 year olds or more are allowed to have sleepovers, and B is only 3, but if she can be very very good and show you that she’s as good as a 4 year old, she can go – she will immediately be desperate to!
    You can then talk about ways to be good – some should be easy and very achievable (eg hang up your coat) and some should be about being nice to Edie (this way it isn’t immediately all about Edie).
    Then over the next 2 days praise good behaviour and remind her that if she keeps it up, she can have a sleepover!
    If she really isn’t good, you’ll have to be strong and cancel/postpone until she is. But she will get there – and then she and E can have a lovely treat night sleeping over in E’s room! Maybe you could leave Edie with David for an hour and paint their toenails or something, then leave them to enjoy the girly fun.
    Good luck xx

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