Did you know that February 27 is International Polar Bear Day? Check out Polar Bears International’s website for more information.
Red and I have been talking recently about the actions we take as humans and the impact they have on the planet. After a long and drawn out debate, the Idaho Senate Committee voted last week to retain the references to man-made climate change in the proposed science standards for K-12 education. There was a period where I thought this vote would turn out differently, and so I have been preparing myself to educate Red on climate change at home. And while I feel a sense of relief that climate change will still be a school topic, this is something that we will still discuss at home, and consider how we might be contributing to it. When I found out about International Polar Bear Day, and in particular the thermostat challenge to help protect polar bears’ habitats, I knew this was a perfect way to continue discussing climate change with Red.
The Polar Bears International website has lots of fascinating information about polar bears, and has a heavy focus on conservation and activism. There are lots of educational resources on the site, and I’m looking forward to showing the kids the section about scientists collaring bears to allow them to monitor their location and travel across the ice as they hunt seals. The reduction of sea ice has a direct impact on polar bears’ habitats and the tracker on the website is a fascinating resource that both my kids will love looking at to understand why losing sea ice has such a big impact on polar bears.
I also found this great round-up of polar bear activities on Pre-K Pages, and I’m planning on doing a couple of these with the boys. I’m sure Smalls will love covering a polar bear cut out in glue and sticking some cotton wool on top! If the boys are lucky, there may be some cupcake decorating too.
Naturally, our activities will include some outdoor time, and as it has been snowing like crazy in Boise the last few days, we will definitely be rolling around in the snow! We will be making some bear tracks, and I’m planning to highlight the polar bear’s camouflage and mix up a hide and seek game by pretending to be polar bears with an old white sheet. At the very least it should provide lots of opportunities for giggling and rolling around in the snow!
The thermostat challenge is one, despite the cold weather, we can gladly participate in tomorrow. The challenge is simple; adjust the temperature of the thermostat in your house by at least two degrees. We have been discussing what temperature differences we might feel and how we can adapt to the change, most easily by adding another layer of clothes.
Sea ice is the natural habitat for polar bears, but we are rapidly losing it as a result of greenhouse gas emissions. Polar Bears International’s website has a lot of great kid-friendly information about climate change if you are interested in teaching your child more about this topic. We will definitely be looking at this in more detail tomorrow, possibly under a blanket!
Are you going to celebrate International Polar Bear Day? Have you started talking to your kids about climate change, and if so, have you adapted your lifestyle and taken on anything like the thermostat challenge?