Thursday, March 8, 2012

Homeschool Theme of the Week: Penguins & Polar Bears!

For the past couple of weeks, we have been covering the topic of penguins and polar bears.  Here are a few of the activities and crafts we worked on - enjoy!  :)

Miss A made a penguin from a cardboard container in the kitchen.  I poked a hole in it for the mouth, and she fed it fish based on the numbers from her addition facts.  

For this activity, Miss A colored two penguin pictures I had printed out.  I left one untouched and covered one with a layer of vaseline in order to illustrate how a penguin's feathers work to keep it from getting terribly wet and cold.  Miss A had fun discovering what happened when water was poured on each.

Uh-oh!  Penelope Penguin found herself encased in a block of ice recently!  Miss A had a great time figuring out the best way to free her.  This was a great problem-solving exercise, and I was pleased with Miss A's suggestions (which we tried).  The one that worked best was to use the hose to pour water on it and watch as the ice quickly melted, and Penelope was free at last!

For anyone with a Cinderella loving daughter - this is a fun version of that much loved classic!  We used a giant Venn diagram to compare the Disney version of Cinderella with Cinderella Penguin.

LOVED this cute idea and had to include it in our week!  Here is where you can print out your own copy of Penguin Pie!

We helped penguins populate an iceberg today - well, not real ones.  But as you can see - still pretty adorable! 
To populate your own iceberg...
1.  Draw an iceberg on a piece of paper. 
2.  Roll a couple of dice, add the numbers together and add that many fingerprint "penguins" to the iceberg.  (for younger kids, just roll the dice and add that many penguins to the iceberg.)
3.  Keep going until you have filled it up!
4.  Add the fun details (eyes, tummies, etc.)! 

Using equal parts of shaving cream and white glue, I mixed the two together to make a puffy paint.  My daughter used the mixture to paint a polar bear picture I had printed out from a place online.  (Just another great idea found on Pinterest!)

This was an estimation activity:  guess how many cotton balls it will take to cover a polar bear picture and then glue them on, keeping track so you can check your answer against your original guess!  :)

ICE PLAY!  Simply freeze water in different sized containers to make icebergs and set them afloat in a tub of water.  Add miniature plastic animals and PLAY!  Found this idea on Pinterest which led me here.

I purchased a baby polar bear figurine from our  local Michael's store and a Toob of ocean animals which contained a penguin.  I have posted links below to some other great Toobs for those who might be interested in obtaining more penguins or an entire bunch of arctic animals.  

Note:  You may want to point out to your kids beforehand (if you plan on giving them penguins AND polar bears to play with at the same time) that polar bears and penguins don't actually live in the same place.  This would be a great time for a mini geography lesson - pull out a map or a globe and show them where these creatures live!  :)

I have posted links below to a few of the books that we used this past week.  If some contain too much information for your child's age level, just pick out the parts you want them to learn about and read those!  :)

Linking up to:

For the Kids FridayTip Junkie handmade projectsHip Homeschool Hop Button


  1. Oh I wish I had these ideas a few weeks ago (when we did penguins and polar bears!) These are AMAZING! I am your newest follower and have voted for you too!

  2. Thank you for sharing all these ideas with us at the Kids Co-op. I love all the maths play ideas.

  3. Very cute! I'm saving some of these ideas for when we get around ot letter P again next year!

  4. So much fun! I would love to come be a student at your house!

  5. Oh my goodness!! So cute!! What awesome ideas!! I HAVE to try a few of them!!

  6. Very creative! I am sure that your kids enjoyed it. Would you consider linking this up to my new weekly hs blog hop? Here is the direct url -

  7. Wow what a fantastic unit study! I love the Cinderella Venn diagram comparison. The penguin rescue is also very cute! Thank you for linking up this week to my Enchanted Thursdays Blog Hop!

  8. Wow I love everything you did with this theme!! Thank you so much for linking up to stART this week at A Mommy's Adventures!


  9. Penguins and polar bears are so much fun to learn about :) Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and for your nice comment :)


  10. My little one loves penguins, so I know she would love this series! Thanks for sharing at Things I've Done Thursday.

  11. Wonderful ideas! I am going to bookmark this page for when we do a until on penguins and polar bears. Some great ideas that can be adapted to other units as well! Awesome!

  12. So many great ideas! Thank you so much for sharing at Mom On Timeout!