Winter is the perfect time to do penguin theme preschool activities and learn all about penguins in the classroom. These flightless birds are fun to learn about during a winter theme, but they also make a great theme all on their own! You can also use this opportunity to discuss other flightless birds, black and white, and other animals who live in a cold winter climate year-round.
Here are some fabulous resources for planning your preschool penguin theme. Most of these activities are designed for kids ages 3 through 5, but many can be modified for younger and older kids as well.
WHY IT’S FUN
During the winter months, especially after the Christmas holiday, is a perfect time to learn about Arctic and Antarctic animals and their habitats. Kids will also be surprised to know that some penguins even live in warmer climates. Penguin activities give you opportunities to learn about these unique birds through arts and crafts and other fun learning games. Penguin activities have a unique visual element to them, and there are so many opportunities to learn!
WHEN TO TEACH A PENGUIN THEME
We like to teach a penguin theme in December through February, as this ties nicely with any winter activities. A penguin theme can also be a great alternative to a winter focused or Christmas theme. You can also teach about penguins at any time of year. It’s a versatile theme!
TEACHING TIPS & MAJOR CONCEPTS KIDS WILL LEARN
If you’re planning preschool penguin theme activities there are many possibilities for incorporating meaningful early learning skills.
These are just some of the concepts kids can learn about during a penguin theme:
- Arctic and Antarctic animals
- Body coverings and adaptations
- Oviparous animals
- Weather and places with cold climates year-round
You can also use blue marbles or black and white manipulatives for many learning activities to teach math and literacy concepts.
ITEMS TO COLLECT AND REQUEST IN ADVANCE
If you get parents, friends, and family involved you can enrich the experience kids have during your preschool penguin theme.
Collect or ask people to help you collect:
- Black and white construction paper
- Black play dough
- Dark blue marbles
- Black felt
- Penguin action figures
You might even invite special guests (or go visit if you can) to come and share about fields and hobbies related to penguins. You could include:
- A zookeeper
- An ornithologist
PRINTABLE PENGUIN THEME LESSON PLANS
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. We have a variety of lesson plan sets that work well as winter themes. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
This set currently includes active hands-on learning ideas and the following printables:
- Fish Pattern Cards (in color and b/w)
- Iceberg Shape Mats and Iceberg Penguin Shape Matching Game (in color and b/w)
- If We Were Penguins Class Book Covers and Page Templates
- Penguin Color Matching Mats and Color Fish to Sort (in color and b/w)
- Uppercase Adult Penguin and Lowercase Chick Letter Matching Set (in color and b/w)
- Iceberg Penguin Name Hop Activity with Editable Penguin Name Plates (in color and b/w)
- Build an Iceberg Counting Activity Number Cube (in color and b/w)
- Penguin Ten-Frames Pre-Filled with 1-10 (in color and b/w)
- Blank 10 and 20 Frames (in color and b/w)
- Penguin Numbers 1-20 (in color and b/w)
- Penguin Vocabulary Cards (in color and b/w)
- Penguin Science Journal (in color and b/w)
- Real Penguin Photos
GET YOUR LESSON PLANS
Also available on Teachers Pay Teachers.
INDIVIDUAL PENGUIN ACTIVITY IDEAS ON FANTASTIC FUN AND LEARNING
This creative Torn Paper Penguin Craft will give your kids plenty of fine motor practice while they learn about different features of penguins.
Feed the penguin in this fun and creative Penguin Math Game.
Use items from around your home to craft this cool Upcycled Penguin Craft.
Help little learners count and practice one to one correspondence with this Penguin Hop Counting Game.
This simple Penguin Sensory Play is a great go-to winter activity for your penguin theme!
Make this simple and easy Penguin Snack for a quick snack during your penguin theme.
MORE ACTIVITIES FROM CREATIVE EDUCATORS
This adorable Paper Roll Penguin Craft is so easy to make and all you need are a few simple materials.
Make these cute and delicious Sledding Penguins Frozen Banana Snacks as a fun treat for your kids!
Use circles to teach shapes and learn about penguins using this Circle Penguin Craft.
These easy Marshmallow Penguins are a super cute treat your kids will love.
Make your own Christmas ornaments using this adorable Penguin Thumbprint Ornament craft.
This Interactive Paper Penguin Craft is a fun and engaging craft that moves and dances!
INFORMATIONAL YOUTUBE VIDEOS
Learn some incredible facts about penguins in this Penguin Facts for Kids video.
Learn all about penguins and where they live in this Penguin video.
Learn interesting facts about different kinds of penguins using this Interesting Facts – Different Types of Penguins video.
Learn about how penguins are a special family of birds and where they live in All About Penguins for Kids.
Move like a penguin using this fun The Penguin Dance song.
Help mom find the missing penguin in this Five Little Penguins Song.
Take a brain break and develop gross motor movement skills with this Penguin Dance song.
Learn all about penguins and where they live with this cool I’M A PENGUIN! Song.
FAVORITE PENGUIN BOOKS
Affiliate links included.
There are a ton of wonderful books to read during your Penguin theme. Below are some of our favorite picture books for a Penguin theme.
Bring penguins to your kids with real photographs and nonfiction texts even if you can’t see penguins in person.
MORE PENGUIN BOOKS
OTHER PROPS AND TEACHING TOOLS
Reinforce learning with these hands-on materials and games during your penguin theme preschool activities.
POSSIBLE FIELD TRIPS OR ADVENTURES
- Watch a live stream of penguins in their natural habitat.
- Visit a zoo or aquarium with a penguin exhibit.
As you wrap up your penguin preschool theme activities take note of what the kids were most interested in throughout the theme. Continue on by investigating one of those concepts more in depth. Below are some possible suggestions.