We’ve been following David Attenborough as he teaches us about everything from the plains of Africa to the jungles of South America on Planet Earth. As I said in my post ‘Create an Indoor Jungle’, we’ve been inspired by Netflix to link what we are watching to some of the activities we do at home. With the weather getting a bit colder, it seemed like the perfect time to set up a Pole to Pole conservation sensory ice play.
This is such a quick and easy activity to set up, but it kept the boys entertained for ages. It also opened up a lot of conversations with Bear about conservation and the melting ice caps.
You will need:
- A tray
- White or blue duplo
- Plastic animal figures
How to make the pole to pole conservation sensory ice play:
Step 1: The day before the activity I filled an old plastic insert tray that came in a biscuit tin and an ice cube tray with water.
Step 2: I then added a few drop of food colouring to a few of them and put it in the freezer overnight. This gave me lots of different shaped blue and clear ice cubes.
Step 3: I filled our tuff spot tray with water.
Step 4: I then built a little ‘igloo’ house out of Duplo and placed it in the corner of the tray. Our garden is on a slope, so the tray was shallower on one side, so this work quite well.
Step 5: I then popped the ice cubes out of the trays and into the tuff spot tray filled with water.
Step 6: I then placed various animals from the poles in the tray, balancing some on the ice cubes.
The boys had such a great time creating little stories in their frozen world. We had a little man in a snowsuit figure and a canoe in the Duplo drawer and the boys loved pretending he was fishing. Bear also recreated a scene from Planet Earth where a polar bear swims in the water between ice plains. We also discussed reflections of the animals balanced on the ice cubes.
As the ice melted away, Bear started to realise the polar bears, the penguin and the seal didn’t have anywhere to stand. This opened up a conversation about the melting ice caps. We talk about how without any ice, some animals don’t have anywhere to live and how it is important for us to protect the planet so they don’t lose their home.
Monkey is a little younger and is very much still developing his speech, so this sensory activity gave me the opportunity to describe the ice as ‘cold’ and name the animals. We also spent time mimicking the noises the animals make and making up actions for each of the animals. For example, we waddled like penguins around the garden and clapped our hands together like a seal.
We had a lot of fun with this activity and it was nice to get outside in the garden even though the weather is starting to turn chilly.
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*Note: We are part of the Netflix Stream Team and this is a collaborative post