Around the World with FIAR: Snowflake Bentley

Ribbet collagefiar

We are currently studying the Arctic circle, using FIAR books as our core.  Although we use the text from FIAR, I will only be posting the extra activities we do.  This week we read Snowflake Bentley, which is a stunning and probably my favourite ever FIAR book.  It has the most beautiful real photos of snowflakes showing the individuality of each one.  It is basically a biographical book outlining ‘Snowflake Bentley’s’ life and his contribution to our understanding of the nature and beauty of snowflakes.

Geographical Theme for the Term

The Snowy Arctic Region focusing on the snow rather than the region!  

snowflake bentley

Theme for Snowflake Bentley


snow is falling

In my Book Box



I am using my photos from my other FIAR posts.  We did the same activities each week and it saves me time if I use the same photos 🙂


Besides reading the above books we made up an animals of the world map and looked out for any of the animals we pictured in the book:

katie and the snow plough

We also built up our large foam map of the world.  I had the little ones spray shaving foam onto the map to show where Antarctica and the Arctic circle were.  They used the appropriate plastic animals and played for a while in the ‘snow’:


To reinforce the names and position of the continents and oceans they played spin the continent:


and a great little board game called Atlas Adventures:


In the Prop Box

This week we simply had fun making as much snow as we could and playing with it!

1. My favourite: Simple shaving foam:

katy and the big snow6

2. Shaving foam and corn starch

Ribbet collagefake snow5


Ribbettcollagefake snow7

And play:

Ribbet collagefake snow4

3. Conditioner and Bicarb:

Ribbet collagefake snow1


Ribbettcollagefake snow 6

And play:

Ribbet collagefake snow2

We checked the first three ways of making snow to see if they passed the snow-man test (ie did the fake snow clump together like normal snow?).  Obviously the shaving foam didn’t but the bicarb and conditioner made a beautiful snow man, as did the foam and corn flour:

Ribbet collagefakesnow3

4. Making snow from the inside of nappies

She enjoyed seeing the water turn from liquid to solid


We read through the following science Read and Find Out book:

snow is falling

Shortly before we began this Arctic study we had completed a whole unit on Antarctica.  We had had one day’s worth of snow which we used for a whole day’s worth of experiments.  We built an Antarctica Research lab:


and used this to carry out our experiments in the snow:


Alas, we have not had any other snow since, but do visit all our snowy experiments in the link above!

Arctic Lap Journal

This week we added a ‘Facts About Snow’ booklet and the ‘Life-cycle of a Snowflake’ wheel, which went perfectly with The Tiny Snowflake book listed above:


Further Inspiration

BFIAR: Snowy Day: There are a gazilion and one activities in this post from home made snow globes, snowy muffin tin meals, snow flake tie die t-shirts and a very special doughnut and hot chocolate snow man:

Snowman hotchocolate in a baby food jar with material for a scarf, doughnut with icing pen eyes and mouth for a face, half a grape for a hat, a straw to hold everything together and a sprinkling of icing sugar for snow!

antarctica button

  • Snowflake Bentley

  • Arctic and Antarctic

Tot School