Monday, February 13, 2012


Skipper has a thing for penguins. It must prove he's his great-grandmother's great-grandson. She too has a love affair with penguins, and what started out as carving a single, life-size Emperor penguin has turned into a crazy collection of penguins. People are always giving her one. She loves them all and remembers where each comes from. While that is fine for her, I could do without the massive collection so we will stick to his bed fellows (a pillow pet penguin, a mini stuffed penguin, and a larger stuffed penguin) as well as a penguin bank and a penguin plate, both of which he decorated at a paint your own clay piece kind of place.

Well, with penguin love around here, we did a mini unit study on penguins back a few weeks when we were all trying to get back into school (um, still are!). It was fun though. I loved the kids' enthusiasm and the little things we did. Again, since we were not doing any school officially, I tried to do a variety of activities to hit on the main subjects.

We took advantage of a very unusual warm day and headed to the zoo for an hour or so!

Penguin "foot" craft (and review of shapes for Critter).

Seeing how a penguin's downy feathers keep it warm using 3 bags - one with ice and water to represent the cold, one with a bit of air, and the third flat. The feather is the bag with a bit of air in it. Very easy to do and very visual, hands-on "experiment" with the kids.

Penguin Punctuation - I typed out sentences to do with penguins and Skipper had to write in what he thought each sentence should end with.

Being a daddy Emperor penguin. The boys tried to shuffle their "egg" (made of clay) around. Very difficult!

Pop-n-Drop Penguins game - received at Christmas. The first to get their penguins out and around the board to "home" wins. I actually won this!

Critter cracks me up. He grabbed one of his daddy's fleece coats, put his legs in the arms, and waddles around like a penguin. It was hilarious and the other two quickly followed suit.

A little treat to go with the penguin pie worksheet below, though ours were more like penguin pops. Regular fudge bars have malt in them, which the boys cannot have, so this was an awesome find - and so delicious, no pun intended!

This fill-in-the-blank worksheet dealt with similes, though we skipped the lesson and just filled it in for fun.

Some grid work. Skipper loved this, though Critter struggled a bit at first.

Checking out how ice bergs look (just a bit out of the water, and plenty more underneath the surface).

Penguin counting by 5's. Still working on skip counting with Skipper...

All about adjectives with Tacky the Penguin. Tacky was a great book and this was a pretty fun worksheet too though I had to do a lot of prompting initially.

Other Fun Stuff

Book List

  • The Magic School Bus Chapter Book: Penguin Puzzle by Judith Bauer Stamper
  • I am Small by Emma Dodd
  • Penguins (Smithsonian book) by Seymour Simon
  • Tacky the Penguin with audio cd by Helen Lester
  • Penguins by Liz Pichon


  1. cute! My children always liked penguins too. When they were little they called them 'pigwins'.

  2. You are awesome. We will start doing some sort of themed science studies around here. I visited a homeschooling mom today who has a house full of books and tools she will lend me for the year! I am so excited about having more structure in our home.

    Saw that you are giving away Maurice & Therese. Don't enter me b/c I already have that book, but I haven't read it in years. I do love St. Therese, as you know. =) I'm reading I believe in Love next. After I finish the other 3 books I'm reading. Lol.

  3. Elisa, I have a book list too. :) And, while we have periods of high activity like this we also have plenty of low periods as well. Those are the days I stick to the four R's. So we have a loose structure.

  4. What a fun study!! I LOVE the activity of waddling with the egg!! I shared this with my Facebook readers here: - You are so creative! Thanks for linking up at TGIF - see you tomorrow =-)


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