This week’s topic is Arctic animals and I’ve put together a printable pack with fun facts about 7 different polar animals living in the extreme conditions of the arctic region. You can use this pack for several different learning activities with the kids, and we will walk you through the different activities to try.
This free printable Arctic Animal Facts pack is most suitable for Early Elementary grades 1-3 in the United States or KS1 Key Stage one in the UK and comes with facts about these fascinating creatures for young readers, along with beautiful color photography.
The free printable pack includes the following animals from the polar regions:
- Polar Bears
- Arctic Foxes
- Harp Seal
- Snowy Owl
If there are other favorite animals that your child likes from the arctic habitat you can make another fact file together by googling the animal and then filling in a table in a word document, which will give them some typing practice too!
Some other Arctic animals you may want to look at are beluga whales , arctic hare, sea otters, or snow geese.
If you want to refer to the polar animals facts without printing out the sheets, I’ve put them all at the end of the post too so you can refer to them on the computer, tablet or phone screen and play the guessing and quiz games that way.
Polar Animals Guessing Game
One of our favourite games to play with animal fact files like these is a type of verbal “guess who” game.
One player will pick an animal, and read out one of the facts as a clue and other players will try their best to guess what the animal is. If they can’t guess, keep adding extra fact clues one by one until someone can guess the answer.
Polar Animals Quizzing Game
Another way to play with the fact files is as a quiz game. Give each child a buzzer, a bell or something to make a noise and let them buzz when they know the answer to add some extra excitement to the quiz. One person uses the fact sheets to make up questions, and ideally two or more will try to answer the questions to give it a competitive element of fun!
Cutting and Sticking Polar Animals Report
Kids can also use the fact file pages to create a collaged animal report, by sticking down all of the animal facts, (or whichever of the facts they find most interesting) around a picture of their chosen animal. My boys all enjoyed doing this (ages 4-7) and thought about sticking related facts nearby to each other on the page, or drawing arrows to the animal picture to link facts to certain parts of the creature where applicable.
You could make these a little smaller and adapt them into top trumps cards too. My kids love any kind of trading card, and were excited to compare which animal is bigger than the other, or is a predator to one of the other smaller animals in the fact files set. – they were surprised to see that the snowy owl is a predator to the Arctic fox!
Another key area to look at is climate change and how global warming affects the lives and habitats of the animals in the Arctic circle. Sea ice is melting and and the arctic waters are rising, with average temperatures slowly rising. Even young children can understand these issues, and care a lot about making a change for our world.
You could also incorporate these polar animal colouring pages I posted last week and make a larger collage.
More Polar Animal Activities
More Polar Animal Ideas from the Early Elementary Team:
Penguin Addition to 100 with Hundreds Chart from Life Over C’s
Polar Animals Facts Game from In the Playroom
Polar Bear Place Value Math Games from Sugar Aunts
Polar Bear Paw Arrays from Still Playing School
Arctic Animals Sight Words Game from 123 Homeschool 4 Me
Polar Animals True or False? from Sallie Borrink – Living and Learning Outside the Box
Penguin Art Project from Preschool Powol Packets
Arctic Animals Colouring Pages from In The Playroom
Polar Animals Facts
If you want to refer to the polar animals facts without printing out the sheets, I’ve put them all below too so you can refer to these cool facts on the computer, tablet or phone screen and play the guessing and quiz games that way.
This great bear and his family have thick fur coats and are found across the Arctic from the U.S. (Alaska) and Canada to Russia, Greenland, and Norway (Svalbard). They make occasional visits to the Geographic North Pole, in the middle of the Arctic Ocean
- They are the world’s largest land predators
- Males may grow 10 feet tall and weigh over 1400 pounds. Females reach seven feet and weigh 650 pounds
- In the wild they live up to age 25
- Their fur is oily and water repellent
- They have a 4 inch layer of fat underneath their skin
- The smallest foot pad is the front track and the larger is the hind track
- They primarily eat seals
- They have a special liver that allows them to process all of the seal fat they eat
- Humans are their only predator
- They are considered marine mammals
- They are related to the brown bear, and they have evolved over time to live in cold northern arctic climates
- They are able to lose and gain large amounts of weight through the year without causing stress health problems. Scientists are studying them to see if they can provide a key to human diseases like diabetes and heart disease!
- They are birds but are not able to fly
- They spend as much as 75% of their time underwater, searching for food in the ocean
- Their body is built for the most efficient swimming with their average speed in the water being about 15 miles per hour
- They are warm blooded with a normal body temperature of about 100 degrees F.
- As many as 5,000 of them will bunch together to warm each other up
- They enjoy tobogganing, surfing and diving
- They are 17 species, each one slightly different. All of the species live in the Southern hemisphere
- These land animals are also known as Caribou
- They are herbivores and eat lichen a type of moss, grass and plants
- A male is called a buck, a female is called a doe and a baby is called a fawn
- They have antlers of around 3ft tall
- They are a species of deer
- They are found in some mountainous areas of Northern Europe and America, as well as in the North Pole
- They can run 50 miles per hour
The adaptable arctic Fox is also sometimes called the polar fox, white fox or snow fox and can be found in the North Pole.
- They change the color of their fur with the seasons. In winter they are white to blend in with the snow, while in the summer they change to brown.
- It’s tail is also called a brush
- They are omnivores, eating plants and meat
- Their favourite food is lemmings
- Their hearing is so good that they can locate the exact position of their prey under the snow.
- They live in burrows
- Eagles, wolves and polar bears are all predators to them
- They are Iceland’s only native land mammal.
- They have large litters, of up to 14 pups
- They are large-sized, toothed whales
- They have the nickname ‘unicorn of the sea’
- They do not have dorsal fins and can easily travel around (and under) the Arctic ice
- Their main predator is the Orca
- Males weigh approximately 3,600 pounds, and are 5 meters in length. The females weigh approximately 2,000 pounds, and are 4 meters in length.
- They communicate with each other through the water by clicking or whistling
- They are found in the Arctic North
- They are members of the Pinniped family
- Other varieties of Arctic seals include hooded, ringed and bearded seals
- Mothers recognize their pups by scent and reject every pup but their own
- The male is called bull, the female is called cow and the baby is called pup
- When harp seal pup eats, its teeth grow; they do not grow if the pup doesn’t eat
- Adult grow to be approximately 5 to 6 feet long and 300 to 400 pounds
- Adults have a silvery-grey body with a black face, but the pups have snowy white fur
- They eat many types of fish, and also crustaceans
- It is a bird of prey
- It lives in the Arctic tundra
- It’s also known as the Great White Owl, Arctic Owl or Tundra Owl
- It’s chicks are called Owlets and they hatch in July
- Their favourite food is lemmings
- They eat small mammals like hare, weasel, arctic fox, ground squirrels, along with birds and fish
- They hunt during the day and the night
- They swallow their food whole
- They prefer to nest on higher ground
- Their eyes have circles of feathers around them that help reflect sound to their ears
- Human hunters are their main predators, along with large foxes, wild dogs and wolves
For more polar habitats learning, try including an educational video. You can easily find some appropriate videos via NatGeo on Disney+ or via BBC IPlayer, Netflix or even YouTube. My kids have really been enjoying this type of documentary in recent years.
There are many nature documentaries and series on our incredible planet which are accessible and enjoyable for children. The BBC series Frozen Planet with David Attenborough is a great choice for this topic.