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Cure Your Child’s Winter Blues with Penguin Activities
by Jolanda Garcia
Brrr! Winter is the coldest season of the year. Water freezes to become ice, snow, sleet, or icicles, creating a sparkling wonderland. Many plants and animals become dormant or hibernate. People bundle up in hats, mittens, and boots. It’s a time for enjoying outdoor activities like ice skating, sledding, and building snowmen or indoor activities like drinking hot chocolate, curling up with a book by a toasty fire, or going to see a good movie like “Happy Feet,” an uplifting story about a tap-dancing penguin named Mumble. Give winter boredom the boot and learn about penguins.
Penguins range in size from the fairy penguin which only gets about 9 inches tall to the emperor penguin which can reach lengths of up to 3–4 feet. Although penguins are birds, they do not fly, at least not in the air. Penguins spend most of their time underwater looking for dinner (fish, squid, krill, and crustaceans). All penguins live below the equator, from the Galapagos Islands to Antarctica. That’s why you’ll never see a penguin and a polar bear together—except on the Coca ColaŽ commercials.
To learn more about penguins visit your local library to find penguin movies and books and try these penguin-inspired crafts and activities:
Cut a large and a small potato in half lengthwise. Paint the large potato half black and then stamp it on blue craft paper. Paint wings on black body and let dry. When dry, paint small potato half white and then stamp it on the black penguin body. Cut a beak and feet out of orange craft paper and glue on penguin. Add wiggly eyes. Make an ice landscape with torn craft paper, tissue paper, or cotton balls.
Stamp thumb into white paint and make one large “thumbprint” tummy on a piece of blue paper or cardstock. Next, stamp index finger into black paint and make fingerprint wings on either side of the tummy. Then, stamp tip of pinkie finger into the black paint and make a fingertip head on top of the penguin. Use a toothpick to make two white eye dots. Allow to dry. Finally, use the toothpick to add a beak and feet with orange paint.
Penguin Egg Walk
Explain that emperor penguins have to carry their eggs and babies on their feet. This is not an easy task. Have children take off their shoes and try to walk around with an egg on their feet. (Make an egg out of a white sock filled with rice or cut a big egg out of white paper.)
Here are some other great art activities to do with your children outdoors:
Make Penguin Snow Sculptures
Have children create snow penguin sculptures and paint with snow paints. (Mix food coloring and water and fill small containers with the mixture.) Children will enjoy exploring the effects that the paint makes on the snow.
Don’t forget to fill those little tummies with a treat fitting for a penguin:
Krill (a Ritz cracker covered with cream cheese and topped with a tiny shrimp or tuna)
The days may be short and the world covered in white, but you don’t have to suffer from the winter blues! Visit www.KidsSoup.com , for a blizzard of other fun winter and penguin crafts and activities.
About the Author:
Jolanda Garcia is a former teacher and educational content designer and runs several websites. Her goal is to give parents and teachers great resources to nurture children's health, development and creativity through crafts and activities. Visit her websites: kids arts and crafts at www.KidsSoup.com, Kid's Health and Nutrition at www.EarTwiggles.com and www.HalloweenPartyBox.com.
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