PPD: Arctic Animals

Play date: December 10, 2015
Theme: Arctic Animals

— Welcome song in English (emphasizes printed name recognition as Sweet Peas find their card in a line-up and place it on our Name Ledge)
— Welcome song in Spanish (reinforces names as Sweet Peas sing to their peers)
— Discussion of theme
— Storytime
— Poem/Song before we break for Centers

This was our last playdate for 2015, and it

Charger’s MAPS book by came in handy again!! It had a beautiful illustration of the Arctic Circle that we were able to use during our opening discussion of the theme.


For story time, I chose a tale told in rhyme that also introduces the tundra, the animals, and counting concepts. Luckily, several of the figures I purchased to go along with the discovery center matched the animals in the book.

We lined up all the animals for storytime, and the Sweet Peas got to identify the animal that matched the page, and then pass the figure around for observation. It took a little longer to tell the story, however, it was great to keep their attention for the longer time!


Today I played the “easy” card and simply photocopied pages out of The Mailbox Superbook for both literacy and math.  This was a good opportunity to point out that the penguins pictured at the top of the page are actually *Antarctic* animals – in real life, a penguin and a polar bear would probably not meet, even though they live together in our imaginations.


This print-out is another simple activity to incorporate the concepts of shapes, as well as fine (coloring, cutting) and gross motor skills



I think this was the big hit of the day.  All of the children enjoyed sifting through the rice+glitter to find hidden animals, playing out scenes with the figures once they were found.

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ARTS & CRAFTS ~ Make & Take
Also a The Mailbox Superbook idea modified to fit our school: Otter and I cut-out the center circles of a paper plate. Then we spray painted them silver the night before playdate so that they would have time to dry.  The Sweet Peas all had different arrangements and placements for the stickers on their “wreath”.

As noted above, this was another opportunity to remind the children that while reindeer and penguins are often used to illustrate the season, they live on opposite ends of the earth.


We finish our Preschool Playdate with a sharing time: each child that wants to share gets to say what (s)he enjoyed the most about the morning.  We close with a good-bye song where children are welcome to give hugs.  It helps to set a formal end to the time together so that parents have a clear reason to insist that it’s time to go if they have somewhere to be afterwards.

This concludes our playdate series for the first half of this school year.  I know we will be revisiting the Arctic animal theme since I have another book I want to share with the children that names several Arctic animals.  Additionally, I want to redeem myself and offer the children more interactive literacy and math activities…I already have something at the edge of my mind to incorporate polar bears!

Be sure to check the “homeschool” or “toddler” links on the blog to find the other playdates we have enjoyed this season.  Tune in starting in January to see our playdates for the second semester of the 2015-16 school year.