Thursday, January 10, 2019

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Arctic Fox Active Learning Preschool Activity

Did you know that an active learning, full-body preschool activity also prepares your child to read? See how this fun winter-themed arctic animal preschool activity also counts as a reading lesson below!

I just took an online course through ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI) called Active Learning in Early Childhood.  This course explores how movement and active learning can be used to improve learning in reading, science, math, and other subjects! (Keep reading for more details on that!) I seriously loved it! I used my new knowledge from it to design this activity--you can do this activity with one child at home, or a whole group for an Arctic Animals Theme or Winter Unit Study! I did it with my preschoolers at home.

First, show a picture (or use a stuffed animal) of an arctic fox like the one below.

 Ask what it is. Talk about its characteristics. Let your preschoolers touch some ice cubes to get an idea of how cold the arctic is. Share a few of these arctic fox fun facts:

* Small ears on arctic foxes prevent the loss of a lot of body heat.
* White fur lets arctic foxes camouflage in the snow and ice easily.
* Arctic foxes are only about 12 inches tall.
* Arctic foxes can survive blizzards in temperatures 50 degrees below zero!
* Arctic foxes use their furry tail like a blanket!
* Arctic foxes dig dens, sometimes right in a snow bank!
* Arctic foxes eat mice, fish, birds, and "leftovers" when polar bears finish their food!
* Arctic foxes have great balance--their tail helps with this!
* Like dogs and cats, arctic foxes can make a raspy bark, a scream-like howl, nips, and other sounds.

Explain that today we are doing an Arctic Fox Challenge! 

Everyone will pretend to be an arctic fox and travel the Arctic Fox Challenge!

For the Arctic Fox Challenge, set up three stations:

1- A row of chairs {the fox burrow} to crawl through because arctic foxes are great burrowers! You can even throw a blanket over them and pretend it's a snow bank!

2- A series of pillows to jump on. Jump from one pillow to the next without touching the floor because arctic foxes have great balance and sometimes jump to catch their food! Count the pillows as you jump on them!

3- A blanket {the tundra} to "bear walk" across because the arctic fox is following a bear to eat its leftover dinner.

When you're done, regroup and talk about everyone's favorite parts! Would you like to live in the arctic?

One very exciting thing that I learned from the Active Learning in Early Childhood course from CCEI was activities that require the coordination of both sides of the brain actually prepare children's brains to read! Reading requires constant, quick communication between both halves of the brain, so activities like crawling and bear-walking are not only good for gross-motor coordination, but also really great for preparing the brain to read! There have even been cases where crawling has been used as a therapy to help teach older "struggling readers" to read!

I used these concepts, as well as simple science and math (arctic habitat and counting) to create this arctic fox themed activity! I hope you love it! 

And next time you find yourself crawling around on the floor with your preschoolers, remind yourself that that is a fantastic pre-reading activity!

 I loved the Active Learning in Early Childhood (CCEI122) course I took online with ChildCare Education Institute and I highly recommend it for parents and preschool teachers alike! It introduced active learning, the body/kinesthetic intelligence, types of learning, sensory activities, discussed how active learning plays a role in brain development and cognitive skills, cooperative learning, and gave specific suggestions  for active learning activities in every typical preschool subject (language arts, math, science, music, social studies, and more!). 

The course also included several reflective questions, intermittent multiple choice questions, and an 11-question final. After passing the multiple choice questions and final, you receive a printable certificate of completion and one CEU hour! 

You can click HERE to read my review of using CCEI for professional development. It is all online, and I am happily recommending them! (Keep checking back for more details about specific courses I am taking with them!)

What percentage of your day would you say is active? Do you have an arctic theme or unit coming up? I love to hear from you!! Feel free to send me an email and let me know what you're up to! Or leave a comment!

This post is sponsored by ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI). Like always, my opinions are my own, and I only recommend products that I  love to use myself!

Happy Educating,

Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!

I may share at any of these parties!

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