Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Polar Animals and the Letter Ii

With the start of the new year, I made a promise to myself that I would get more organized about the educational (and fun!) activities that I do with my daughter every week.  AND I'm going to blog about it!  I'm all about themes, and because it's January I decided to start with polar animals.  It's always been one of my favorite units to teach my students about!  I also decided to focus on one letter a week.  My daughter's name is Isla, so we started with the letter Ii.

This was our first attempt at using Do-A-Dot markers.  It was a BIG hit!  She loved finding all of the letters in the igloo.  Each time she did a dot I prompted her to say the sound for i.  You can download this page and a few others we did this week by clicking HERE. (We also did the included penguin page and polar bear puzzles, but I forgot to take pictures of those in action.  I laminated both of those pages and printed the polar bear puzzles on card stock for durability.)

This is one of the other letter i pages I made.  I laminated it so we could use it over and over again.  The markers we used are Crayola Washable Dry Erase Markers.  They aren't stinky like Expo markers and they are WASHABLE!  I modeled how to write the capital and lowercase i, then let her practice on her own - she felt like such a big girl :).  This was a quick activity but she asked to do it every day!

Penguin clip art from Creative Clips,
I made this color sorting game with things I had around the house.  The wood baskets are from a Melissa and Doug play food set my daughter got for Christmas.  I'm so glad I didn't toss them!  The blocks are a Melissa and Doug Wooden Blocks set.  I printed out the penguins(sticking with the polar animals theme), laminated them and taped them to the baskets.  This is a game I kept out all week and she kept going back to it.  I also had her practice naming the colors and shapes as she sorted them.

This idea came from No Time for Flash Cards and I couldn't wait to try it.  It was so easy to prep!  I used a blue paper bin from the Target Dollar Spot.  I filled the bin with a few inches of water and then put a small bowl in it(for the ocean) and filled the bowl with potatoes so it wouldn't float.  Then I placed it in the freezer overnight.  When I took it out the next day the bowl was stuck in the ice, so I filled the bowl with some lukewarm water and let it sit for a few minutes until the ice around it melted enough for the bowl to come out.  I added a little water to the ocean for the animals to swim in.  The ocean was her favorite part of the activity.  All of the animals went swimming!  She also liked breaking off small pieces of ice as they melted away from the ocean and eating it(so I'm really glad I cleaned the bin before hand!).  We added a couple ice cubes for "ice bergs" and she loved that as well.  You can see in one corner of the bin the ice was raised and the animals were able to slide down it.  I don't know how that happened or I would recreate it because she also had a lot of fun with that part.  We talked about the names of the animals and their colors, how some animals live on land and others in the water,  and talked about cold vs. hot.  The animals are from the Toob Penguins and Artic sets(which are crazy expensive on Amazon today so I didn't include a link).  Did you know they sell Toob Animals at Michaels Craft Stores?  You can use a coupon and get them 40-50% off!  

SNACKS.  So while I was searching Pinterest for polar animal ideas, I came across these cute snack ideas.  How could I resist?  The polar bears were SO easy and quick to make - she loved them!  The penguin sandwich (from Disney) took more time, but when my daughter saw her lunch she GAVE IT A HUG! Literally, she hugged her plate - lol!  Made the time it took to make it all worth it.  The penguin cup was a gift from her aunt last year(from Target).

That's a little bit about our week.  I took more pictures of our letter Ii activities, but can't find them so I will be better about where I put them for my next post!  It you'd like to see more polar animal ideas you can check out my January Pinterest board by clicking HERE.

Coming up next....the letter s, as in s is for snowman!  Check back next week to read all about it!



  1. Thanks Laura,
    These are great ideas! I'm going to use them when I watch my grandaughters! They love to do fun activities each week? I really like the sensory frozen ice idea. And of course food is always something fun I like to do for them? Thanks for the free downloads! Margaret stangeland

  2. You're welcome Margaret! I know you and your granddaughters will have so much with these activities. We had a blast!