Inside: This polar bear sight word activity uses an editable free printable so that you can use your own word list, or even work on just the alphabet.
With the winter weather keeping a lot of us indoors, now is a great time to explore some winter-themed activities. This cute polar bear “fishing” game is a fun way to help your little learners improve their literacy skills.
You can use this printable to help your kids with sight words, sounding out phonetically spelled words, or even simply letter recognition. Just type in the words or letters you’d like your students to work on.
Polar Bear Sight Word Activity
This is a pretty straightforward activity that can keep your kids engaged for quite a while and can be used year after year. They’ll get a great kick out of using the fishing pole and may ask to keep playing again and again!
Materials and Preparation
This isn’t difficult to prep for and most of the tools you’ll need can probably be found in your classroom or around your house.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- String or yarn
- A pencil or chopstick to use as a fishing pole
- Printed activity (scroll down towards the bottom of the post to get your copy)
- Optional: blue paper to cut into a “pond”
Once you have all your items together, set up activity:
- Start by laminating the printable (or printing on cardstock)
- Then, cut out the fish from the extra page (not the page with the polar bear).
- Next, attach a magnet to the back of each fish. Depending on what magnets you use, you may need to attach magnets upside down so that the paperclip can pick up the fish from the front.
- Finally, tie a paperclip to a line of string and then attach the string to a pencil or chopstick to fashion a fishing pole.
Once you have everything prepped and ready to go, you can get your little learners in on the action!
- Lay out the fish beside the polar bear page. You might find this easier to do on a mat on the floor, but a big table can do just fine too. You could even contain all the pieces in an old sheet pan (but note that the magnets should stick on the word side, not the pan side, for easiest fishing.)
2. Let the child take the fishing pole and go fish for a word or letter. The paperclip on the pole should stick to the magnet on the back of the fish, allowing the child to pick it up. Of course, if you’re working with especially young learners, they might need a quick demo beforehand.
3. When the child has the fish, they need to read it aloud and correctly match the word or letter to the one on the polar bear game board.
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How to Make it a Game
You can make this more of a game by giving each child their own game board and fish. Children can race each other in completing the board.
Or, for kiddos that do better with less competition, you could make a cooperative game. Have them take turns on the same board and pool of fish, racing as a team against a sand timer or kid-friendly stopwatch (affiliate).
Extend the Activity
You can make it more challenging as they advance, by switching in and out new words and letters.
Grab Your Free Printable
To get your very own printable, you can sign up right here:
I’ll add you to my weekly-ish newsletter too – it’s full of ideas and more free printables. Of course you can unsubscribe at any time.
How to Edit the Printable
To edit the printable with your own set of words or letters, make sure you open the file in Adobe Reader.
Then, just type in whatever words or letters you want your littles to practice. You type the words in on the teacher page, and they automatically fill in on the student pages.
Here’s what it looks like:
If You Have Trouble…
Some computers default to opening pdf files in a different program – which can mess up fonts and the ability to edit. So, if your file doesn’t seem to work right, try opening Adobe Reader first, and then going to File, Open from there to open the download.
More Polar Bear Activities for Preschool and Kindergarten
Here are a few more polar bear themed activities for you to check out:
First up is my set of Emergent Readers about Polar Bears. I really need to take some better photos – this doesn’t do it justice…
Next, everyone loves these story retelling hats that follow along with the book Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You See?
Finally, you also might also like this free printable tracing activity for preschoolers. It features an ice-skating polar bear!