Review- Polar Pen Pal- Arctic Songs Pack
This time of year lends itself to ‘winter’ themed topics for play-based learning. A quick scroll through Instagram shows loads of activities involving snow, ice, or polar animals. One account has really taken our interest, however. Polar Pen Pal is a brilliant concept- cue the chance to get to know ‘Mark’ and ‘Meeka’; two friends who introduce children to life in the Arctic! We were keen to give some of their resources a try. They are designed to do at home, and we did (although we do not homeschool, we do enjoy home learning activities) but the resources and content could easily be used in a setting or school, too as they are very versatile. Here’s what we got up to:
The Arctic Songs Pack is a pdf download; we printed it off, although you could use it straight from your computer, too. The rhymes were great; Little soon picked them up and has been happily singing “Three polar bears” in his push chair this week on the school run! There were also a couple of songs we weren’t so familiar with so have used Youtube to learn the tunes so we could then adapt the words. It has been interesting to see what songs are popular as nursery rhymes in other countries.
The first rhyme we really got into was “Lift your rock” which is all about building an Inukshuk. We read it, sang it through a few times and then used some wooden blocks we had to build our own Inukshuk. I wasn’t sure what one was, and Little was asking lots of questions, so we did some research online and discovered loads of interesting facts about Inukshuks; their origins and what people think they may have been used for.
Another thing we enjoyed learning about was Artic animals; we made a tuff tray activity with some blue foam soap and the animals we had and created a small world scene. Little is really getting into messy play and was in his element playing with the foam. The rhyme we looked at with the animals was “Three Polar bears” and also “I’m a little Lemming”. We found some footage of some arctic foxes jumping in the air and down into the snow to catch them. He found this hilarious and loved their acrobatics! This would be a great way to develop the theme further by looking at arctic food chains, or “What-eats-what” as we call it around here!
The third activity we did surrounded the rhyme “This is my igloo”. Big was surprised to hear that it was warm inside an igloo and we had a good discussion about shelter and wind chill. Little was interested in what an igloo was and wanted to build one. We made some ice cubes in the freezer and then started building. It was tricky, cold and sometimes the ice cubes slipped down or didn’t fit. We learned that if we laid them in the right way, they became stronger. Although we didn’t manage to build a ‘proper’ igloo, this was a fun activity and we added some toys to make it even better, starting to develop stories based on the rhyme we had read.
We really enjoyed using these resources. I would recommend the Arctic songs pack for 2-6 year olds; there are other resources in the Etsy shop for older children, too. There are more rhymes in the pack than the three we have done so far, and we are looking forward to exploring some more with these resources. Following Polar Pen Pal on Instagram is a must; the kids love seeing what is going on in Iqaluit!
Disclaimer: I received the Arctic Songs pack from Polar Pen Pal for free in return for a review. All comments above are my own and an honest reflection of how we found the resource.