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Exploring Arctic and Antarctic through sensory play

Books for little readers teaching about Polar Regions

Reading is one of the best ways to teach language acquisition and learn diversity of the sounds and words. Books help us to provide vocabulary rich environments to the children in our care and it is one of the fundamental teaching techniques in early development! Selection of the books bellow will provide you with a wonderful opportunities to learn about Polar Regions, explore new animals and words! 

The Emperor penguin is the only large animal to remain on the Antarctic mainland throughout its bitterly inhospitable winter. Once the female has laid her egg, she heads back to the sea, leaving the male to incubate it. He then spends two months standing on the freezing cold ice with the egg on his feet! This is his story.

Everybody knows that penguins belong at the South Pole and polar bears live at the North Pole - but what would happen if, one day, a family of picnicking penguins accidentally got lost? When the hapless Pilchard-Brown family find themselves at completely the wrong pole, they need Mr White, the friendly polar bear, to guide them all the way home. . .

Part of Ella Bailey's acclaimed series of nonfiction for young readers, we follow a young penguin through a day in its life in the Antarctic. From breakfast to dinner, dusk to dawn, children will love spending the day with this curious penguin chick.

A sequel to the bestselling Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Bill Martin's playful story combining animals, colours and sounds, is beautifully illustrated by Eric Carle. A simple rhymthic text introduces the reader to a menagerie of wild animals from a roaring lion to a fluting flamingo and a trumpeting elephant.
Polar bears and penguins glide and whales and walruses dive across the pages of this colourful book, which takes children on a fascinating sub-zero journey of the amazing Earth's poles.

Why Sensory Play?

Sensory play is crucial for the development of babies and young children as it stimulates their senses and encourages exploration. Warm and cold is great sensory experience and representation of Arctic and Antarctic in a child friendly way! Regular exposure to a variety of sensory experiences supports the development of sensory processing skills. This is crucial for organising and interpreting sensory information, laying the foundation for more complex cognitive functions.
Incorporating sensory play into a baby's routine provides a holistic approach to early childhood development, addressing physical, cognitive, social, and emotional aspects of growth.Here are some benefits of sensory play for babies. 

Cognitive Development - Sensory play helps in the development of cognitive skills by allowing babies to explore different textures, shapes, and sizes. It enhances their understanding of the world around them and promotes problem-solving skills.

Fine Motor Skills - Engaging in sensory activities, such as grasping and manipulating objects of various textures, helps babies develop fine motor skills. These activities encourage the use and coordination of small muscles, fostering better control over their hands and fingers.

Language Development - Sensory experiences often involve language-rich interactions. Describing the sensations, naming objects, and talking about the play activities with caregivers or peers contribute to language development in babies.

Social Skills - Sensory play can be a social experience when babies engage in it with parents, siblings, or other caregivers. Sharing sensory materials, taking turns, and participating in group activities contribute to the development of social skills.

Sensory Integration - Sensory play helps babies integrate information from their senses, such as touch, sight, smell, taste, and hearing. This integration is essential for overall sensory processing and can have positive effects on a child's ability to focus, self-regulate, and interact with the environment.

Emotional Regulation - Exploring different textures and sensations can have a calming effect on babies. Sensory play provides opportunities for self-soothing and emotional regulation as babies learn to cope with different stimuli and experiences.

Creativity and Imagination - Sensory activities often encourage creativity and imaginative play. Babies can explore open-ended materials, allowing them to use their imagination to create and discover new ways of interacting with the world.

Body Awareness - Engaging in sensory play helps babies develop a sense of their own bodies. Whether it's crawling through tunnels, feeling different textures, or exploring their surroundings, babies become more aware of their bodies and how they move.

Carer-Child Bonding - Sensory play provides opportunities for bonding between parents and babies. When caregivers actively participate in sensory activities, it strengthens the parent-child relationship through shared experiences and positive interactions.

Icy sensory Experiences

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For this amazing and Icy sensory play use ice cubes or simply freeze some water in different moulds! Adding hidden arctic animals will enhance children's curiosity and engage them into extended play. 

Use a wide tray safely placed on a flat surface, add your frozen shapes, some arctic toys and here you just made a small world of Winter Animals!

If you want to furhter enhance your little ones sensory experience make some 'food safe' snow! For this wonderful sensory you will need 2 cups of cornflour, one cup of plain flour, half a cup of sunflower oil (any other oil that does not have a colour to it will also do). Mix everything together in a mixing bowl then, rub the mixture in between your hands as if you are making the crumbles. Voila! You just made a snow for sensory play! Now you can build a little snowman.

Foil reflection creates an imitation of ice and arctic regions through play. For safer experience use medical foil blanket. It will not chip and tear and provide a safe play for your baby!