Set up a simple and engaging Arctic sensory bin for the kids during your next preschool Arctic theme. Be sure to add this to your collection of winter activities for preschoolers.
I love adding sensory play to preschool themes. No matter what the learning unit is about, there needs to be some kind of sensory aspect planned into it.
Sometimes the sensory activity doesn’t relate to the theme, but that’s okay! I’m not too picky about making every single area of the classroom link up to the theme.
This sensory tub, though, is pretty easy to pair with a variety of themes. I think it’s perfect when the kids are learning about the Arctic, winter animals, or polar animals.
I also think it would be a great fit during the wintertime. Of course, if you set it up during a hot summer day, the kids would love it just as much!
Arctic Sensory Bin
Let’s jump into putting an Arctic-themed sensory table together! You can make this on a large scale or create individual sensory bins for the kids. You can always make adjustments to cater to the materials you have on-hand and the needs of your classroom.
Snowy Sensory Play Materials
Below are the items used for this Arctic sensory bin. If you don’t have the exact materials on-hand, you can switch out some items or pick up what you’re missing. For instance, we used Insta-Snow this go around, but you could always learn how to make fake snow with flour as a fun classroom activity!
Here are the materials we used (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
- Instant snow
- Arctic animal toys
- Large clear glass gems
- White snowflakes
- Silver snowflakes
- Sensory table or container
I know you may not have Arctic animal toys on-hand. But if you’re doing an Arctic theme, they can really come in handy! And not only for the Arctic sensory bin, but also for other activities like making dens for winter animals, a polar animal small world activity, and many more!
Setting Up Your Sensory Bin
It doesn’t take much to get this Arctic sensory bin ready to go. You can definitely have your students help put it together, or you can make it ahead ahead of time yourself.
First, grab your container or sensory table. Follow the directions on the instant snow to make a batch of snow. If you’re using a larger container, make multiple batches. Pour the “snow” into your bin.
Next, add the clear gems to the bottom of the bin. Space them out a bit. After that, sprinkle the snowflake confetti all around the bin.
Finally, place the animals into the Arctic sensory bin. If you want to, you can add scoops, cups, spoons, and other sensory tools to the tub.
If you have the chance, show the kids some real images of Arctic animals. It’s a great way to get students to engage in conversations with both teachers and peers.
Using the Arctic Sensory Bin
As you well know, every child is different. So your students will interact with this sensory tub in multiple ways. And that is perfectly fine, as long as they follow your ground rules, of course.
Some children will enjoy exploring the feel of the pretend snow. If the snow does, indeed, seem to be a hit with the kids, I suggest making a few extra batches to add to the bin.
Other students will focus more on the animal toys. They’ll line the animals up, come up with pretend play scenarios, hide the animals in the snow, and more. Some children might even try to give each animal its own floating iceberg using the glass gems!
Related: Penguin Sensory Bin
Still others will focus in on the snowflake confetti. They’ll gather all of the snowflakes together, sort them, make patterns with them, or have fun making it “snow” on the animals.
And that’s not even touching on all of the many ways the kids can play with the Arctic sensory bin! It’s an open-ended activity which allows the kids to really use their imagination as they play.
Arctic Theme Lesson Plans
Let Preschool Teacher 101 save you a ton of time with done-for-you lesson plans. All of our lesson plans include over 30 hands-on learning activities, book suggestions, weekly lesson plans, daily lesson explanations, center ideas, and related printables.
The Arctic lesson plan set includes all of the above, as well as the following printables:
1) Arctic Animal Sort-Animals that Live on Land versus Animals that Live in Water
2) Arctic Animal Puzzles (in color and b/w)
3) The Arctic Emergent Reader (3 versions)
4) Arctic Letter Puzzles (in color and b/w)
5) Arctic Number Cards 0-35 (in color and b/w)
6) Arctic Roll and Graph Game (in color and b/w)
7) Arctic Animal Picture and Word Cards (in color and b/w)
8) Hungry Polar Bear Subtraction Game
9) Feed the Beluga Counting Game
10) Arctic Hare Shape Hop Board Game
11) Spin and Fill Math 10 Frame Activity (in color and b/w)
12) Snowy Owl Uppercase and Lowercase ABC Matching Activity (in color and b/w)
Also available on Teachers Pay Teachers
Other Thematic Preschool Resources
Looking for even more winter-themed lesson plans? Look no further! Check out some of Preschool Teacher 101’s products by clicking on the images below.