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happy penguinThis happy penguin invites you to look through these delightful winter learning activities that will enrich your preschool and kindergarten curriculum with ideas for counting, math, movement, crafts and a fingerplay.

There are 3 black & white printable coloring pages of Penguins associated with this theme. Use your BACK button to return to this page.

Skiing Penguin Bulletin Board
This is how Taryn P. creates a bulletin board for a winter penguin theme.

Materials: Black construction paper, white construction paper, popsicle sticks, 
wiggle eyes, orange construction paper, cardboard or tag board penguin pattern.

Penguin Bulletin BoardDescription: I've done this bulletin board with 2 year olds, all the way up to my 1st grade class.  Depending on the age of your children they can either trace the penguin pattern onto black construction paper and cut it out or you can have them pre-cut for them.  I use a penguin stencil from an animal pack. I have 2 versions, 1 with the beak to the side and 1 facing forward, no beak showing.

Make an oval the appropriate size for the penguin's belly out of white construction paper. either have a pattern for children to trace or have it ready for them. You can cut orange triangles for the beak, and webbed feet. Have the students glue the white belly, wiggle eyes, beak and feet onto the black penguin pattern.  Glue two popsicle sticks to the penguins feet for skis.  I encourage the children to glue them any way they want. 

Once the penguins are finished I attach them to a bulletin board with a blue background and white paper cut to look like snowy hills.  I like to use the way the penguins look to decide how to put them on the board.  For example; if the skis are crossed I might staple the penguin upside down, if the skis are straight, I put it on the hill facing downward.  The kids always enjoy making the penguins and then seeing them on the board, especially the ones that have "fallen".

Winter Penguins
Christy D. offers this easy craft idea for young preschool children.

Materials: Yogurt Cups, glue, construction paper and paper plates.

Description: Turn the yogurt cup up-side down on the paper plate. Glue it there, and cut a hole towards the opening of the cup. Have children create a penguin out of construction paper by having a circular body, eyes and a nose already  prepared. The kids just have to glue them together. Glue the penguin next to the  yogurt cup. Add some silver glitter. It looks like is a penguin coming out of its igloo! 

Frosty Penguins 
Convey the idea that penguins live where it is cold  as youngsters use fine motor skills during this early childhood craft activity by Vicky L

Materials: Black paper, orange paper, white paper, Epsom salt , water and glue.

Description: After discussing penguins our class makes Frosty Penguins.  My class are toddlers so everything is pre cut. Older children may do some of the cutting themselves.  We start with the black shape of the penguin. Children glue on white circles for eyes and orange triangles for beaks.  Then they brush on a mixture of Epsom salt and water.  When dry the Epsom salt mixture looks frosty.

For more teacher made special effects take a look at Art Recipes.

Game: Penguin Shuffle
This musical game by Brenda C. promotes gross motor skills.

Materials: Beanbags and music.

Description: Have the children form two lines and waddle back and forth as if in  a relay with beanbags on top of feet side by side. They are doing the  Penguin Shuffle.

Science: Save the Penguins!
Foster small motor development and observation skills as solids become liquid during this science discovery activity from Jeanne.

Materials: Small penguin erasers, ice cube trays, medicine droppers, margarine containers and aluminum pie plates.

Description: Using the ice cube trays, place one eraser in each slot, then fill with blue colored water. Place in the freezer overnight. The next day, fill your water table with water and several large icebergs (margarine containers filled with water and frozen the night before).

Give each child a pie plate, a medicine dropper and a frozen penguin. Explain that the penguin accidentally froze in the ocean waters and we must save them! Give each child a small container (applesauce container size) filled with salt water. Have the child fill the medicine dropper with salt water and drop, drop, drop onto the frozen  penguin. Have the child keep dropping water onto the penguin until it is freed!  As soon as the penguin is freed, have the child bring it to the water table to freely swim in the ocean waters with his other penguin friends.

Comments: Have plenty of extra penguins to free as this is a very exciting activity.

Sensory: "What Do Penguins Eat?"
The entire class participates in this sensory experience from Annette.

Materials: Tape of sounds of the sea, a shallow tray of water, objects that will allow you to set a snowy scene. I use boxes covered in white sheets and wadding sprinkled with cotton balls and penguins which we had made earlier.
Large whole fish ( I use a mackerel), a bag of whitebait, tin of tuna, mayonnaise and bread with items for cooking and eating the fish.

Description: Set up the room with the sounds of the sea and a snowy scene. Darken the room. Encourage all the children to walk into the room, pretending you are going on an expedition to find out what penguins eat.

The children all come in and sit around the shallow tray of water. Place the fish in the water and allow the children to "catch" the fish, smelling and handling it. We then cook and taste the fish. We make tuna sandwiches also. Some of the children will be more willing to try the sandwiches. 

Comment: We had a great afternoon and the children's attention was excellent which is not always the case with my group!  I teach a group of children with severe learning difficulties and challenging behaviors age 3 - 6 years.

Penguin Counting Game
Sheri L. offers this game for number recognition, counting practice and subtraction.

Materials: A number dial or dice with numbers, Goldfish crackers and a picture of a penguin - 1 for each child.

Description: Children take turns spinning the dial or rolling the dice for a  number.  Then then count out that number of goldfish from a center bowl to  feed their penguin. 

This can also be done for subtraction. The children start with an equal number of goldfish for their penguins, and the number they spin is returned to the ocean.  Those are the fish able to swim away from the penguin.

Comments: Have lots of goldfish crackers on hand.  For every fish the penguin gets at least two are eaten!

Parent Involvement: "Math Suitcase"
Amy B. uses this activity to get parents involved with their child's learning of math.

Materials: Box, bag OR Suitcase, math games and a letter to parents.

Description: I send home a Math suitcase with a different child every week. They take it home on Thursday and bring it back on Tuesday. This gives me time to  replenish any missing pieces. In the math Suitcase there are simple math games that I have made. For example:

A game board (piece of tag board) with a mommy penguin in the 
top left hand corner and three baby penguins in the bottom right
hand corner. In between are a path of snowflakes.
I use penguin and snowflake stickers to make it look professional.
Written in the middle is Help Mommy Find Her Babies.
The kids can interpret in their own way how to play the game.
I include a few dice, and small different color erasers shaped like penguins. 
Also included are number flash cards and a simple graph game with apple stickers in three different colors. I add things and take away things depending on the level 
of the student going home with the suitcase. And you must include a letter to the parents. Include the due back date of the suitcase and a short note on how to use the suitcase with their child. 

penguin waddleThe Penguin Waddle
This easy preschool activity from Sheri L. is really a balancing act.

Materials: Bean bags.

Description: Explain to youngsters that male penguins keep their young warm by having them stay on top of their feet under the feathers. Then encourage the children to balance bean bags on top of their feet and try to "waddle" around the room. 

Craft Activity: "Penguin Pins"
Children construct a penguin pin during this activity by Gina P.

Materials: 3 wooden ice cream spoons, black paint, glue, fiberfill, orange felt, wiggle eyes, tape and pin backing or safety pin.

Description: Paint two of the ice cream spoons black.  Use glue and cover one side of the 3 spoons with fiberfill.  Glue the handle end of the 2 black spoons together so that the bowl ends flare out to make wings.  Glue the fiberfill covered spoon  behind and between the black ones, so the white is the tummy of the penguin.
Next, glue orange felt (in a triangle) to make a beak.  Add the eyes and glue the backing or safety pin to the back. This activity can also be used to make a magnet instead of a pin. 

penguin waddlePenguins
Julie R. suggests this preschool and kindergarten activity to help children identify penguins as snow animals, to help children identify the colors black and white, and to
help youngsters develop fine motor and listening skills.

Materials: Book Penguin Pete, craft sticks, black, white, and orange paper.

Description: Read the book Penguin Pete and then show a factual book about penguins. Have children make penguins using the paper and add craft sticks for skis.

The penguins consist of a large black oval shape,
2 black wing shapes,
A smaller white oval shape for the tummy,
White circles for the eyes,
Smaller black circles for the pupil of the eyes,
And a orange triangle for the beak.
Older preschoolers should be encouraged to cut out the shapes.

Indoor Movement: Penguins
Youngsters imitate the penguins movements during this activity by Sheri L.

Materials: SMALL slide,  pillows or soft mat for landing.

Description: Ask the children to waddle - hands as if they are holding their vest, heels together and toes turned out, jump - with feet together. And slipslide;  or dive as penguins do on the ice.  Use a small slide for the children to "dive" head first in to a pile of pillows or soft mat which we call the ocean.

Comments: The children love being penguins and diving into the ocean.  They especially enjoyed the "rule breaker" of sliding head first down a slide. Emphasis was put on landing on soft pillows and how this wouldn't be possible on the large outdoor slide with the harder landing surface we have. 

Penguin Fingerplay
Sheri L. offers this finger play to add to your Penguin Theme. 

 Peppy, Peppy, Penguin was marching by,     (Stand tall)
 His toes turned out                        (Legs together and
 And his head held high.                 toes turned out)
 His long black coat                        (hands run down sides)
 And his clean white vest,                  (hands holding shirt
 Peppy, Peppy Penguin you look your best! 
  (Waddle like a penguin)

Science: "The Blubber Glove Experiment"
Sheri L. helps preschool and kindergarten children explore why animals stay warm in cold weather (Blubber), and why Penguins can swim in the icy Antarctic Oceans.

4 Zip lock Baggies.
A Bucket of very icy cold water. 
Vegetable shortening (Crisco) 

Description: Place about 1 cup of Crisco in the bottom of a baggie.  Turn another 
baggie inside out and place it inside of the baggie containing Crisco.  Zip the two 
baggies together, sealing Crisco between layers of baggies.  Seal two other baggies together in the same manner (But do not place anything between the layers - just the two baggies.)

Now have the children slip a Crisco filled baggie on one hand and a empty baggie on 
the other.  Then the the children put their hands into the icy cold water and see how the Crisco filled baggie insulates their hand from the cold.  Explain that this is much like the way the blubber insulates the penguins, whales, seals etc. from their icy cold waters in the Antarctic. 

Hot and Cold
Lydia D. reinforces the differences between hot and cold with this activity.

Materials: Magazines, scissors, glue, poster board and markers.

Description: After a few hands-on activities about this hot and cold, have an 
assortment of magazines available and tell your class to cut out pictures of things that are hot or cold. Have each child glue his pictures on the appropriate poster (hot or cold) that you have already prepared and displayed on a wall or easel. Make sure the magazines have lots of food items and clothing items. Store catalogs and grocery store flyers work great.

Comment: You can use these "Hot and Cold"  posters for Circle Time discussions. The same activity can be modified for 3 yr. olds if the teacher precuts all pictures and allows the children to sort them.

penguin waddlePenguin Bowling
Youngsters use eye-hand coordination and gross motor skills during this activity from Sheri L.

10 2-liter soda bottles, 10 white socks, 10 laundry detergent lids for cap.
Felt pieces; black circles for eyes, yellow triangle for beak.
Foam board; orange for feet and black for wings.
A Playground ball

Penguin Bowling Pins:
Pour 1 cup of sand in the bottom of each bottle (this keeps the bottles from toppling over too easily. Slip a white sock over the bottle and tuck extra into the neck of the bottle.  Cut out orange feet and hot glue to the bottom. Glue black wings to the sides, a bow tie at the neck, eyes and beak at the top. Glue laundry cap to the top for the penguins hat.

Set up penguins
    * * * *
    * * *
     * *
Roll the playground ball, trying to knock down the pins.

Comments: Making the pins takes time but the children love the activity and it can 
be used from year to year. 

Printable Page: Penguin On Skis



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