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How do Polar Bears Stay Warm?

Have you ever wondered how Polar Bears stay warm when they live in the cold snow? This fun snow animal experiement will help you understand!

Materials Needed

How do Polar Bears Stay Warm?

Difficulty Level: Medium

Time Needed: 15 minutes

Best done: Indoors or Outdoors

Mess Level:Medium

Hand in Cold Water

Materials Needed

  • Large Bowl (or plastic bin)

  • Water

  • Shortening

  • Ice Cubes

  • Three Zipper Bags

Time to Experiment!

  • Let children experiment with sticking their hands in the cold water-ask them how does it feel?  

  • Question how they keep their hands warm when it’s cold outside-then ask how they think polar bears do it. There’s a good chance that many of them will say with fur-which is part of the reason but it is also due to the blubber (i.e., fat) on the polar bear.

  • Then:

    • Turn one small bag inside out, place it on the child’s hand and cover it in shortening-really cover it! 

    • Place the shortening covered bag into a clean Ziploc bag (so you don’t get shortening in the water). 

    • Put both hands in the water at the same time and see which one stays warmer! 

  • Give the simple explanation that polar bears (and many other arctic animals) have a bunch of blubber-like the shortening and that keeps them warm when it’s really cold outside!

Other Snow Animal Science Activities

Penguins Swimming in Sea

How do Penguins Stay Dry?

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