Friday, August 10, 2012

Penguin Unit and water bottle penguins

Daisy has loved her blanket from the time she was a tiny baby, but she didn't really have a favorite animal until she got this little fellow. Then it was just penguins, penguins, penguins from then on, and every time the boys brought up their imaginary "Birdie land" or "Monkey land" or "Bear land"s---Daisy chirped out her little "Penguin land!" stories right along with them.

So, for sweet Daisy's birthday week (she turned 3!) it seemed only right to do a penguin unit. Abe was at choir camp for a few of the days, and it was kind of a hectic time for us, so we made this a mini-unit, but we managed to pack in a lot of penguiny activities for our little Penguin.
Usually I don't worry too much about whether or not all of our activities really interest Daisy---she wants to do things with us about 70% of the time (she thinks she can do anything her brothers do), but if she gets bored and wanders off it's fine. But I did make an effort to do lots of hands-on stuff for this unit so she could participate the whole time if she wanted to. She loooooves coloring and cutting things out, and I found the most awesome set of paper crafts about penguins. We did 5 or 6 of these and everyone loved them---from Daisy all the way up to Abe. I think there is a fee to download, but if you upload something to share, you can download something free. I uploaded a flower worksheet I'd made and felt I got much the better end of the deal. :) I love crafts that actually have a purpose to them and the "waddle, toboggan, and hop" penguins were particularly inspirational to little Daisy. I loved the lift-the-flap pages too. Just a great all-around set of activities.

The other craft we did was these water-bottle penguins. I just sort of made them up as we went along, going off of a coffee-creamer-bottle bird I'd seen online. You just stuff a water bottle with polyfill, then cut out a rough back shape from black cloth (no really, I mean rough. I drew something like this on the cloth and let the kids cut it, no template or anything, and they all turned out cute in spite of my total lack of artistic ability. I'm sure you could improve on it:) and glue it around the back of the water bottle.
Then you just cut out orange feet out of paper and glue them on the bottom, and glue an orange triangle beak just under the lid. And googly eyes above it. Oh yes, and I also had them color a strip of black with marker  along the lid above the eyes. And that's ALL! And no, this isn't the kind of craft I love best (no real educational link) but they are so cute! And Daisy loved them so much! And the kids run around honking them at each other and pretending they have babies on their feet, so they're a success in my book.

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