World Penguin Day, which is celebrated on April 25, should not be confused with a similar day, which is Penguin Awareness Day, held in January. World Penguin Day, which also signals the start of penguin migration, is an excellent day to enlighten preschoolers about penguins through a variety of activities. There are many activities that can teach preschoolers about the flightless penguin who begins annual migration northward on or about the same date every year, according to Holiday Insights.
Make a fingerprint penguin
Preschoolers are just starting to be able to use craft materials and making something that requires a minimal amount of materials but will still permit the children to learn about penguins is essential. The fingerprint penguin is a perfect idea. Preschoolers will enjoy using their own fingerprints for this craft to teach about and celebrate World Penguin Day. DLTK provides instructions for this craft.
Materials needed includes:
-Black finger paint
-White finger paint
-Orange finger paint
-Cardboard scrap or margarine container lid for pallet
-Toothpick or small paint brush
-Construction paper or card stock in a color other than black or white
Squeeze small amount of black paint onto “pallet,” followed by same amount of white paint on pallet, squeezed onto the opposite side.
Have each child place the pad of their thumb in the white paint and then make one large white fingerprint tummy by pressing the paint-covered thumbprint onto the paper.
Each child stamps their index finger into the black finger paint.
Make black penguin wings by pressing index finger on either side of penguin tummy.
Stamp index fingertip or pinkie fingertip into black paint and press on top of tummy to make the penguin head.
Use a toothpick or small paintbrush to make two white dots for eyes on the penguin.
Set aside to dry.
Once penguin is dry draw an orange beak and feet on the penguin with marker or paint.
Color penguin pages
After briefly explaining World Penguin Day on a level that preschoolers can understand, have a fun time with penguin coloring pages. Show the children pictures of a penguin so that they know the colors on a penguin. Pass out coloring pages and let preschoolers color their page. There are several penguin coloring pages that can be printed out free at first-school.ws, but penguin number three or number eight are the best options for preschoolers. These penguins have wider spaces for children who have not yet mastered staying in lines, particularly in a small area.
Read a penguin book
There are several great choices to celebrate World Penguin Day with preschoolers. Penguin Pete is aimed for children ages 3 to 5 years old so is perfect for children in a preschool classroom or for a nice book to read at home or to give as a gift. Penguin Pete is the littlest penguin. He longs for the day when he will be big enough to swim in the sea with all the rest of the larger penguins. The humorous pictures in colors that reflect the icy world that Penguin Pete lives in helps to tell his story on a level that preschoolers will understand and love. There are now other ‘Penguin Pete’ books that have followed this one which are likely equally enjoyable to preschoolers.
Another great book to read to preschoolers in recognition of World Penguin Day is ’How Do Penguins Play?” This is a “Little Golden Book,” so it is the perfect level for preschoolers. Preschoolers will be engaged in what Amazon refers to as a “playful and rhyming Little Golden Book. It is written for children ages 3-7 years old.
365 Penguins is written for children for children ages one to eight years old, but will delight children of all ages. It will allow preschoolers to enjoy the oversized book that tells the story of a penguin in a package dropped off by an anonymous person. The sister of the family finds a note that says “I’m number 1; feed me, I‘m hungry.” What could it mean? Shortly after “Number 1” wreaks havoc, more penguins are mysteriously appearing every day. At the end of the year, there are 365 penguins! The book “integrates challenging math concepts and environmental concerns” as Father starts organizing the penguins into groups. Finally Uncle Victor arrives to solve the mystery of 365 Penguins. These are just a few examples of books suitable to read to preschoolers for World Penguin Day and to help them learn about penguins.
Sing or say a penguin rhyme
There are several songs and poems that preschoolers will enjoy while learning about penguins. A great choice is ‘Six Little Penguins,’ one of several rhymes at preschooleducation.com.
~Six Little Penguins~
Six little penguins off an iceberg did dive,
One bumped his head and then there were five.
Five little penguins swam the ocean floor,
One saw a whale, then there were four.
Four little penguins spun around, whee-ee!
One spun off, then there were three!
Three little penguins, with nothing to do,
One went fishing, then there were two.
Two little penguins, having lots of fun,
One fell away, then there was one.
One little penguin, when the day was done,
Went home to sleep, then there was none.
While it may be assumed that a holiday such as World Penguin Day may not be understood by most preschoolers, that assumption would be false. There are a wide variety of fun learning activities, crafts and books that will keep preschool-aged children entertained and will teach them a great deal about penguins.