Welcome to day 19 of DIY Summer Camp at home. On this third week of DIY Summer Camp, we’re going to learn about animals, including jungle animals, farm animals, and playing with pets. And let’s go around the world to see Australian animals, South American animals and the polar region animals. This makes for some fun activities that you can do right in your own backyard. Or, even better, you can send the kids out to do, while you relax.
Penguins and Polar Bears
It’s hot outside so let’s pretend to go some place cooler. While polar bears and penguins live at opposite ends of the planet, they both live in the coldest regions of the world. And it’s a good thing they live at opposite ends, because polar bears might look on penguins as a tasty snack!
Activity: Polar Bear Shuffle
What you need:
- white paper — one more piece of paper than you have players
- large open area
What you do:
Line up all your players in single file. Mark out a start and a finish line. Give every player a piece of white paper, and the first player gets two. The first player puts one of his pieces of paper down in front of him and steps on the “ice berg”. Then he puts his second paper down, and steps on that. The 2nd player steps on the piece of paper, and hands his to the first player, who puts it down. Everyone moves forward one. Repeat until the last player, who will pick up the paper behind him to pass forward to the first player. Now “shuffle” forward on the “ice” until you get across!
Variation: make two teams, and see who can get to the finish first! Players who step off the “ice” are out!
Activity: Penguin Fishing
What you need:
- cardstock paper
- fish template
- metal paper clips
- large magnets
- sticks or dowels
What you do:
Print off and cut out the fish template. Use the template to cut out colored fish from cardstock. Attach a metal paper clip to each fish. Cut about 24″ of string for each pole, and tie to the pole. At the end of the string, attach the magnet.
Now scatter your fish and go “fishing”!
Snack: Bear Paws
- chocolate chips
Slice the bananas, and arrange on a plate. Add four cheerios for claws, and arrange chocolate chips for the paw pads.
Activity: Walrus Warmth
You will need:
- latex or vinyl gloves
- vegetable shortening
- icy cold water in a large bowl
- plastic wrap
First, give each child a glove. Have them dip their hands in the ice water, and test the temperature without the glove. How cold is it?
Next, put on the gloves. Then coat the gloved hand with vegetable shortening. (You might want gloves on to help as well!) Wrap the shortening covered hands with plastic wrap, so as to minimize the mess.
Now dip the shortening covered hands in the ice water. How cold is it?
Activity: Ice Cube Experiment
- ice cubes
Put the ice cubes in the water, and lay the thread across the ice cube. Count to 30 and try lifting the thread. What happens?
Lay the thread across the ice again, and sprinkle salt on the ice cube. Count to 30 again. Now lift the thread. What happens?
Experiment with the amount of salt on the ice.
Polar Region Animals: facts for you to share
The polar regions consist of the Arctic and the Antarctic regions – the North and South Poles. For some periods of the year, the sun never sets, and for other periods, it never rises. This makes the area generally quite cold, even in the summer.
In the Arctic regions, the land masses can have short summers, where plants and flowers will flourish. But surprisingly, there are more species of polar region animals at the South Pole (7500) than at the North (5500).
If you include marine species like whales and fish, there are about 13 000 different species of animals in the polar regions of the world, combined. Many of them live at both the Arctic and the Antarctic, but there are a few variations.
Arctic Land Animals
There are 36 species of mammals in the Arctic, including 17 marine species (like whales). Some of the Arctic animals have unique camouflage adaptations – like the Arctic fox and Arctic hare will change color from summer to winter. Other Arctic animals use a layer of blubber to combat against the cold, like seals, walruses and polar bears. And some animals migrate from north to south and back again, like blue whales, puffins and Arctic terns.
There are no exclusively land animals on the continent of Antarctica, like hares or bears, but on some of the islands and southernmost points of South America, Africa and Australia, you’ll find penguins and seals. The Emperor penguin is the only penguin that actually nests and breeds on the continent of Antarctica itself.
End of the day: read aloud time.
There’s nothing that settles kids down like storytime at the end of the day. So after all the jungle games today in our jungle animals theme, grab a classic read-aloud and read a chapter every night this week.
Try one of these:
Come back tomorrow for another day full of animal-filled adventures. And don’t forget to subscribe so you get every day of the DIY Summer Camp at Home right in your inbox.
The story begins..
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