Feeding the Penguins

Penguins eat krill (a shrimp-like crustacean in the Family Euphausiidae), squids, and fish.

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Various species of penguins have slightly different food preferences, which reduce competition among species.

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As part of our week of arctic animals, we fed penguins with our very own fish! Using tweezers, students grasped for different sea creatures and slipped them into the mouths of their penguins!

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Painting on Ice

Children are naturally curious. From the minute they gain control of their limbs, they work to put themselves out into the world to see how it all works.

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They explore, observe and imitate, trying to figure out how things operate and how to control themselves and their environments.

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This unrestricted exploration helps children form connections in their brain, it helps them learn—and it’s also fun.

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Art is a natural activity to support this free play in children.

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The freedom to manipulate different materials in an organic and unstructured way allows for exploration and experimentation.

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These artistic endeavors and self-directed explorations are not only fun, but educational as well.

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As part of our arctic theme, we painted onto “ice” with our friends. Using saran wrap as the “ice” and paint, we practiced creating designs and other pictures, having fun while doing so!

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Polar Bear Play Dough

During our week of polar bears, we learned all about these creatures and where they live.

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We made them (and their habitats) with a variety of materials, we played gross motor games aimed at teaching their behaviors, and finally, we used play dough!

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For this activity, students added plastic icicles and glitter to white play dough.

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They then used polar bears to create habitats for them.

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Finally, students created stories about their creatures with their friends!

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Snowman Slime

From birth through to early childhood, children use their senses to explore and try to make sense of the world around them. They do this by touching, tasting, smelling, seeing, moving and hearing.

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Providing opportunities for children to actively use their senses as they explore their world through ‘sensory play’ is crucial to brain development – it helps to build nerve connections in the brain’s pathways.

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This leads to a child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks and supports cognitive growth, language development, gross motor skills, social interaction and problem solving skills.

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For this activity, we used a few different materials to create snowman slime. We first combined corn starch and water to create the “slime”. This is a malleable substance that appears as a solid when placed on a hard surface and liquid when it is picked up.

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Following this, students added black rocks, foam sheets, and black cardboard. These materials made up the eyes, nose, and hat of the snowman. Lastly, we explored the substance, watching it ooze through our hands as we played with it!

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Snowman Play Dough

Play dough activities are a great way to help young children develop fine motor skills as well as bilateral coordination skills!

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There are many other benefits as well. For one, play dough provides a great sensory medium, which can be used to help children who struggle with sensory processing.

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Play dough play can also help develop coordination skills.

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For example, young children will use hand-eye coordination to cut, poke and prod play dough and when using cookie cutters in the dough.

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Lastly, manipulating play dough helps to strengthen hand muscles and develop control over the fingers.

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For our week of snowman-themed activities, we utilized this medium to create our very snowmen.

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We did this by combining play dough, googly eyes, pipe cleaners and rocks. We had so much for creating and then tearing down our creations!