I have animal lovers here who have been loving our science curriculum work right now, its about animals around the world. This week we learned more about arctic animals in the Arctic and Antarctic. What child isn’t wondering how arctic animals stay warm considering we make our kids wear layers of clothing in the winter and the animals just have fur.
We learned how they live in the cold, how they survive the freezing cold temperatures. Considering my oldest likes to sit down and watch animal documentaries, she loves what we are learning right now.
Arctic Animals – Science Experiment
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Right now in our BookShark Science curriculum we are learning animals from the Usborne World of Animals book. My kids know what cold is, we don’t shy away from going out in the cold Saskatchewan winters. But arctic cold is something completely different.
To demonstrate how penguins, polar bears, and other arctic animals stay warm with their layers of fat we grabbed a package of Crisco (vegetable shortening) from the store and did up a bowl of icy cold water.
What we did to learn how animals stay warm in icy water:
We put a large bowl of water into the freezer to let it get extra cold, and then added the ice cubes.
We put a bare hand into the icy water first, just to get an idea of how cold the water really was.
The original plan was to wear latex gloves, but I couldn’t find them locally, so we simply stuck our hand inside a Ziploc sandwich bag. A bar of shortening wrapped about the hand, and then another sandwich bag on covering the shortening, to keep it from falling off in the bowl.
It looks crazy, but worked out great. And best of all for this Momma, clean up was basically non-existent because we just had to slip our hand out of the baggie and toss the whole thing in the garbage.
Kids thoughts on this animal science experiment:
Gauge did think I was crazy when I was covering his hand in shortening, in a bag. And then asked him to put his hand in the water, though he wanted to do it first.
He loved it once he realized his hand wasn’t getting wet or cold. All three took turns doing this and said their hand stayed dry and warm.