How do Arctic Animals Stay Warm in Icy Water?

How Do Arctic Animals Stay Warm in Icy Water


Winter is always a fun time to talk about arctic animals.  I absolutely loved this idea from Discover and Learn Preschool for exploring how arctic animals stay warm in icy water!  Animals like walruses, seals, and polar bears all have a thick layer of fat, called blubber, that keeps them warm in the icy waters of the Arctic and Antarctic.  And polar bears have black skin underneath two layers of fur that help trap the heat when they are on land.

Here is a fun fact:  Although you often see Polar Bears and penguins together in books and movies, they actually live at opposite ends of the earth.  Polar Bears only live in the arctic (North Pole) and penguins live in the Antarctic (and other parts of the Southern Hemisphere).

Want to see if a layer of blubber can really help you stay warm in icy water?  Try this fun experiment!

Go here to find all of the directions.


Here’s what you’ll need:  a bowl of icy water, Crisco (or vegetable shortening), latex or vinyl gloves, and plastic wrap.  



 IMG_6375First of all, encourage your child to put his/her hand into the ice water.


 IMG_6378Obviously, Little Brother was not a fan of freezing his hands! :


 IMG_6381Next, put a surgical glove on your child.  This will allow your child to participate in the experiment without having to spend hours trying to wash crisco off his/her hands. :)


 IMG_6384Then have him/her scoop out the shortening and make a fist.



IMG_6391 Put on a glove yourself and then add gobs of shortening to the outside of his/her hand as well.  Wrap the ball of shortening with a piece of plastic wrap (we forgot this step and it was kind of a mess!!!).



IMG_6398 Then have him/her plop their hands back into the ice water.  Little Brother was a bit hesitant at first, but noticed a big difference in how much warmer his hand stayed with the layer of “blubber”!










arctic animals in icy water square


Check out more fun science experiments here. 


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Fizz & Add Math Game for Kids

Fizz and Add Math Game for Kids


This activity might just be even more fun than our Fizzy Reading activity from a few days ago!  It is a similar idea, but includes a super fun math game for kids.  It is adaptable to all ages:  use one dice for preschoolers and have them “fizz” the corresponding number.  Use two dice for older kids and have them add the two numbers together!  All ages will have a blast!


Here’s what you’ll need:  number ice mold, two dice, a squeeze bottle, baking soda, a shallow baking dish or plastic tray, water, vinegar, and food coloring.  Our colorful dice were borrowed from our ThinkFun Math Dice Jr. game.

number mold

1.  Mix a baking soda and water paste (and food coloring, if you choose) so that it is thin enough to pour into the number mold.  Freeze for at least a few hours.  (If you want to include 11 and 12, you can make and freeze a second set).


IMG_6270 2.  Remove the frozen numbers from the mold and place them in a baking dish.  Pour some vinegar into a squeeze bottle (along with some food coloring, if you choose).



IMG_6275 3.  Have your child roll the dice and mentally add the two numbers (our kids just rolled again if the sum equaled an 11 or 12).   


Find and Fizz Number Recognition

For preschoolers:  Have them just roll one dice and identify the number by fizzing and then let their partner have a turn.



4.  Squirt the sum with the vinegar and then let the other child have a turn.



5.  Continue letting each child swap back and forth and “fizz” the numbers with the vinegar.




The first person to dissolve all the numbers wins!  And if you don’t have enough vinegar, the first person to completely dissolve one of the numbers wins.  :)



Fizz and Add Math Game Square



Check out more fun addition activities here.




Addition Pancakes

Addition Pancakes

I love finding ways to repurpose what would otherwise be trash.  This past weekend, our little family of five had a fun night out at the bowling alley.  We ordered some pizza and everyone got whupped by their mama in bowling (I’m pretty sure that is the first time that I have ever beaten anyone bowling…and will probably be the last).  :)  When they gave us the pizza, it came with this cute little disposable spatula.  I knew we could use it for something, so I wiped it off and stuck it in the diaper bag.  Then earlier today, I remembered Playdough to Plato’s Sight Word Pancakes post and thought we would put a mathematics spin on such a fun idea!

Kiddos will enjoy a little pretend play with these addition pancakes.  It is self-correcting, so it is perfect for independent learning or even a center activity in a classroom.
Here’s what you’ll need:  Some thin cardboard, a spatula, a permanent marker, and a cup (or something else to trace a circle).







1.  Cut out your circles and write your equations on one side.




2.  On the other side, write the sum.



3.  Let your little one get to flipping!  Have him/her mentally add the numbers together and then flip the “pancake” to see if he/she was right.




Big Brother imitated his Daddy flipping pancakes…he got pretty excited.  :)




I am loving his new toothless smile!




If you want to use this as a center activity in a classroom, it can easily be stored in a gallon-sized Ziploc!



Check out more fun addition activities here.  

Rainbow Discovery Bottles for Babies

Rainbow Discovery Bottles for babies- so many fun ideas

Little Sister is at such a fun age…she is so curious about everything!  A few weeks ago, my sister-in-law gave her a water bottle to play with during church and she had so much fun watching the water slosh back and forth.  And later that day, she grabbed a spice bottle from my cabinets to play with (which reminded me of her brother at about the same age).  So I thought it would be fun to make bottles that she could hold with various contents.      


There are so many possibilities for these Rainbow Discovery Bottles!  I was inspired by Growing a Jeweled Rose and Fun at Home with Kids for ours.  Some of the bottles make noise:  the rice, beads, and (oddly enough) the waterbeads!  Some are just fun to look at (baby oil and corn syrup).  But ALL of them are fun to play with and to talk about colors, shapes, and sounds!      


Please note:  These should only be played with when your child is being closely monitored.  Never leave your child alone with these discovery bottles.  I would recommend gluing the tops of the lids so that they cannot break open.  


Here is what you’ll need:   

Contents of Rainbow Discovery Bottles


4 oz. plastic bottles with lids


colored rice (follow these instructions)

baby oil and colored water

miniature pony beads (we received compliments of

Corn Syrup


Pony Beads



IMG_3585   IMG_3589   IMG_3599


The boys are equally as enamored with our discovery bottles.  They think the red one is the coolest one of all because the waterbeads make such a funny noise when you shake them!    


  Rainbow Discover Bottles for Babies




Check out more activities for babies here and on our Pinterest board!



Shape Turkey for Preschoolers

Free Printable Shape Turkey Craft

Little Brother and I  had a great time making these Shape Turkeys for Preschoolers!  Creating them together gave me the perfect opportunity to review some of the trickier shapes (like octagon and rhombus) while still creating a super-cute Thanksgiving craft!


Here’s what you’ll need:  Shape Turkey Printable and either markers, crayons, paint, dot markers, or stamps.  We chose to make our own shape stamps using some old wooden blocks and sticky-backed felt.  The idea was to match the stamp to the larger shape.  


IMG_3406 1.  Download your FREE Shape Turkey Printable!



IMG_3408 2.  To make the shape stamps, trace tiny shapes onto sticky-back felt and then stick them on your wooden blocks.



IMG_34113.  Match the shape on the stamp to the larger shape on the paper.  The small octagons ended up looking more like circles on the stamp, but it still made a neat design!



IMG_3418  Tiny triangle stamp!



IMG_3420  I ran out out of wooden blocks, so we used our dot markers to make the final rhombus feather.  :)



IMG_3427  4.  Cut out all the shapes.  This was great practice for little brother!



IMG_3431  5.  Use a glue stick to assemble your turkey.



IMG_3445  Gobble, gobble!



IMG_3444  Our turkey with our DIY Shape Stamps.  :)






Shape Turkey



Check out more Thanksgiving activities here and on our Thanksgiving Pinterest board!


Follow Jenae {I Can Teach My Child!}’s board Thanksgiving on Pinterest.