Thursday, January 7, 2016


Penguin Art Project

Here's a penguin art project that can be embraced by children of all ages!  Our preschooler, kindergartener, and 3rd grader loved it!  I even had fun making one!  I also love how this project has a process art component and a product component--it gives the kids a chance to explore the art techniques while still making something they recognize and really want to share!

Most of our group activities and projects this week are centered on a penguin theme -- it's perfect for the cold January weather and everyone loves a penguin!

To begin, we talked about how all penguins live in the southern hemisphere, but only some live in Antarctica.  The Emperor Penguin is one of those, and they literally live on icebergs for months at a time!  In fact, the a male will hold a newly laid egg for two months on his feet, without eating, waiting for it to hatch!

So we started out by painting an iceberg on our pages.  Some of us painted it on using white and blue tempera paints.  Some of the kids just wanted to leave a big white space on their page for their penguin's iceberg.

More Preschool Penguin Crafts

Next we painted the sky or ocean--each child chose which they'd rather represent.  This is the process art component.  I opened up the blue, purple, green, orange, red, and yellow water color paints, but you can use fewer colors if you want.  I also put out a cup of water--it is important to keep your paint quite wet so you can get the best effects with the salt afterwards.  Once the sky or ocean is painted on in watercolors, sprinkle salt on top of the paint.  Let your penguin's backgrounds dry while you make the penguins!

The salt absorbs moisture from the paints and creates really cool designs and patterns.  You know I can't resist throwing a little science into everything we do!  Actually I think art and science go together really well!

I even had kids wanting to experiment with the paints and salts after they finished their projects!

Anyway, back to the penguins!  To make the penguins, I suggested the kids cut out a large black u-shaped body, a smaller white u-shaped belly, two black D-shaped wings, and eyes.

We used orange felt for the beaks.  Then I let them cut and arrange the felt (if they wanted!) for accessories like scarves, hats, etc.  My preschooler's penguin had the most accessories.  By far!  My oldest wanted to put two penguins on her ice-berg, and gave one of them a bow!

This one's about to dive into the water:

Tip: When gluing with young children, place a pile of glue on a scrap paper. Let them dip their paper in the glue pile, and then place it where they want it.  This helps cut down on too much glue and super long drying times!

Once the penguins and their iceberg backgrounds were dry, we glued them together!

I think they all turned out wonderfully!!

Do you love penguins too?  Be sure to check out my FREE Penguin LEGO Counting MatPenguin Science Fun & Penguin Feather Science posts!  And come back frequently--we have lots of penguin and polar bear posts planned for January!

Also, we have more polar-themed learning activities for early elementary kiddos!  Check out all these ideas:

Polar Animals Facts Game from In the Playroom

How Do Penguins Stay Dry? from Raising Little Superheroes

Polar Bear Food Chains from Rainy Day Mum

Polar Bear Paw Arrays from Still Playing School

Arctic Animals Sight Words Game from 123 Homeschool 4 Me

Polar Animals True or False? from Sallie Borrink - Living and Learning Outside the Box

Penguin Art Project from Preschool Powol Packets

I may share at any of these parties!

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Unknown said...

Carla, these look so pretty! I love the idea of adding science into the activity!

Unknown said...

What beautiful rich, texture and color for your penguin backgrounds! Love it!