“Penguins, seals, and whales” was the response when I asked our Australian friend about which animals he saw on his recent trip to Antarctica.
My husband has always talked about going to Antarctica, so he was very envious when we found out his best buddy had taken a month-long adventure trip down south. As we were talking about the trip, my daughter started asking questions and showed a keen interest in learning about Antarctic animals.
We borrowed a bunch of Antarctica books from the library and purchased the Safari TOOB of Antarctic animals. Many of the penguin books are set in zoos or have the penguin as a pet character, but we were looking for books actually set in Antarctica.
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6 Antarctica Books for Kids
My daughter and I first read Sophie Scott Goes South, written by the popular Australian author Alison Lester (recommended for ages 6+). The book is written as a daily journal of Sophie’s expedition to Antarctica with her dad, who is delivering supplies to the research station. My daughter and I looked at the world map to compare the North Pole/Arctic, where Santa and polar bears live, with the South Pole/Antarctica, where penguins and orcas live.
Other Antarctic books we have enjoyed:
One Day on Our Blue Planet… In the Antarctic
by Ella Bailey
A beautifully illustrated non-fiction book showing all the animals in Antarctica. Ages 4+
Playful Little Penguins
by Tony Mitton and Guy Parker-Rees
A delightful, rhyming, and colorful book for young children. Ages 3+
Lost and Found
by Oliver Jeffers
A charming story of a boy who rows his friend, the penguin, back to the South Pole. Ages 3+
by Sarah Weeks and Suzanne Duranceau
A simple story of the relationship between a baby penguin and its parents. Ages 4+
Where is Home, Little Pip?
By Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
A lost baby penguin meets a whale, a gull, and a husky on his journey to find his parents. Ages 3+
6 Antarctic Animals Yoga Poses for Kids
Next, try these six yoga poses, which mimic common Antarctic animals.
Note that these yoga poses for children are specifically listed to invite flow from one posture to the next. Use these poses as a guide, but feel free to have your children make up their own yoga postures. The purpose is to learn about Antarctica through movement and fun!
1. Pretend to be a penguin – Mountain Pose Variation
How to practice Mountain Pose (variation): Stand tall with your legs hip-width apart and feet facing forward. Take your arms out straight alongside your body, keeping your palms flat, and waddle like a penguin.
2. Pretend to be an albatross – Warrior 3 Pose
How to practice Warrior 3 Pose: Stand on one leg. Extend the other leg behind you, flexing your foot. Bend your torso forward and take your arms out from your body. Flap your arms, pretend you are flying through the sky like an albatross. Switch sides and repeat the steps.
3. Pretend to be an octopus – Standing Forward Bend
How to practice Standing Forward Bend: Stand tall with legs hip-width apart, feet facing forward, and straighten your arms alongside your body. Bend your upper body, reach for your toes, and sway your arms like the tentacles of an octopus.
4. Pretend to be a seal – Cobra Pose
How to practice Cobra Pose: Come down to lying on your tummy and place your palms flat next to your shoulders. Pressing into your hands, lift your head and shoulders off ground. Pretend to be a seal hanging out on the ice floe.
5. Pretend to be a whale – Bow Pose
How to practice Bow Pose: Lie on your tummy, bend your knees, lift your chest, reach your arms back toward your toes, and hold on to your feet. Pretend to be a humpback whale gliding through the water.
6. Pretend to be an orca – Downward Facing Dog Pose
How to practice Downward facing Dog Pose: Step back to your hands and feet, with your body in an upside-down V shape, with your buttocks up in the air. Pretend to be an orca jumping through the icy waters.
You could finish the class in Resting Pose, pretending to be sea stars. Afterwards, you could make a list of other Antarctic animals and go around the group, asking them to share their favorite Antarctic animal pose and talk about which other animals they could practice next time.
Learning about Antarctica has been so much fun with my daughter that we’ve added it to our travel bucket list!
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