Chase Fireflies

Penguin Activities for Preschoolers

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We are finishing up our Penguin week ’round here.  As some of you know, I am mildly infatuated with thematic planning (teacher genes).   I like it so much that I’ve decided to incorporate more themes around our home. 

We did these activities over the course of a week and a half.  A couple every day and in some cases (Freeze Dance) tons of repeats. 

The biggest thing that I’m learning is to be intentional about time with our kids.  I know all of this stuff seems overboard/ridiculous, but if I don’t plan activities, I’ll spend my time with them organizing drawers and scrubbing spots out of the much neglected carpet.  I’d rather play.  Plus, they are growing out of their jeans, which makes me want to cry. 

Here are some art projects, games, food, and science projects you can do with preschoolers – whether in a classroom or with your own little tykes at home.  Whatever you do or don’t do, just be intentional:)


Penguin Waddle Race:  Have kids hold a ball between their knees and race each other.  Balancing the ball is a riot and will make them waddle. 

The Penguin Freeze Dance:  Put a winter hat on with some music and dance!  When the music starts, dance!  When it stops, freeze!  Of course, you’ll have to join in and show them how to move!
Adaptation:  Have floating pieces of ice scattered around the room (pillows).  When the music stops, have the penguins find a piece of ice to stand on.

Emperor Penguin Says:  Play the traditional game Simon Says, substituting “Emperor Penguin” for “Simon.”

Penguin Sledding:  If snow is available, have your penguins slide on their bellies down small inclines on sleds. 


Heart Penguin:  Make a penguin out of various sizes of hearts.  (See photograph below.) 

Recycled Art – Penguins:  Use whatever you have in your recycling bin to make a penguin.  You will need a bottle, black and white paper, orange foam (or paper works too), glue or tape, and google eyes.

Penguin Pointillism:  Draw an outline of a penguin or the letter “P.”  With a Q-tip and some black, white, and orange paint, have your little ones color the penguin or “P” with paint dots.


Freeze water in a pan.  Have children predict what will slide on the ice:  cotton balls, dry beans, balls, whatever you have on hand.  Test out your predictions.


Fish Sticks and Macaroni (for the Macaroni Penguin of course!)


Preschoolers have a hard time with one to one correspondence.  The more counting activities you can do the better!  We had bowls of goldfish and estimated how many were in our bowl.  (Preschool estimates are the best – 145 and 482.  There were about 10-20 some!) 


There are plenty of penguin books at the library.  Our favorite was Augustine.  So cute!  As in our Snow Day, we threw a white sheet over the table and read books underneath, creating an igloo. 

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