Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox.   SUBSCRIBE
The Kid Should See This

How to build an igloo: A clip from A Boy Among Polar Bears

Watch more with these video collections:

In this clip from the BBC documentary A Boy Among Polar Bears, we get to watch how the Inuit people build the snow shelter known as an igloo, or iglu in the Inuit language. (“Snow house” is igluvijaq.) These temporary shelters, built only with snow and a snow knife, have protected hunters from the extreme Arctic wind and cold for thousands of years. From Wonderopolis:

An igloo’s walls block the icy wind that’s common in these areas. Snow also happens to be a very good insulator. This means that the heat inside the igloo — whether from a small oil lamp or just body heat — tends to stay inside the igloo. The result is that the inside of an igloo can be as much as 40 degrees warmer than the outside temperature.

Igloos also get stronger and warmer over several days after they’re first built. As trapped heat causes the inside of an igloo to melt slightly, the melted snow will then refreeze when the igloo is unoccupied. A few days of this thawing/refreezing cycle will eventually turn the entire structure to solid ice, which is even stronger and warmer than the original structure…

An experienced igloo builder can construct an igloo in about an hour. If you’ve never built an igloo before, it’ll probably take you three to six hours or more. All you need, though, is plenty of packed snow, a few tools and patience.

Update: If you like this video, watch this next: The National Film Board of Canada’s 1949 classic How to Build an Igloo.

This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.

Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

Nomadic Nenet people build a chum (yurt) in the Siberian Arctic Winter

Rion Nakaya

How to Build an Igloo (1949) – National Film Board of Canada

Rion Nakaya

Casa ecológica de botellas (The Ecological Bottle House)

Rion Nakaya

Log cabin time lapse: A Canadian man builds a shelter from scratch

Rion Nakaya

Step into a summer igloo (in 360°) as it’s being built

Rion Nakaya

How to build a grass hut – Primitive Technology

Rion Nakaya

A ‘bouncy castle’ bedroom on the International Space Station

Rion Nakaya

How nomads put together a ger (or yurt)

Rion Nakaya

Building a DIY CNC-cut spiral staircase

Rion Nakaya