I love studying both Arctic and Antarctic animals in the winter. Last month, I focused on Arctic animals. This month, I'm focusing on penguins from Antarctica and other parts of the Southern Hemisphere.
I have a post at Living Montessori Now with free penguin printables for preschoolers through first graders. You'll find many activities for preschoolers through first graders throughout the year along with presentation ideas in my previous posts at PreK + K Sharing. You'll also find ideas for using free printables to create activity trays here: How to Use Printables to Create Montessori-Inspired Activities.
At Living Montessori Now, I have a post with resource links of Free Printables for Montessori Homeschools and Preschools.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.
Shelves with Penguin-Themed Activities
My shelves with penguin-themed activities include a free printable penguin culture card (available with or without description) designed by The Montessori Company for Living Montessori Now.
You'll also find Montessori-inspired penguin numbers and letters (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber)
You could mix your penguin themed activities among your shelves according to curriculum area. Or you could have a special penguin area something like the one pictured. This one is more for 2½-4 year old preschoolers. I didn't add my more advanced activities to the shelves, although you could have activities for mixed ages in a classroom or homeschool. If you're a homeschooler, just choose the activities that work for your child's interests and ability levels. If you don't have room for all the activities you'd like to do, just rotate them.
I was lucky to have The Montessori Company create a lovely hand-painted penguin culture card for you to use on your shelves to introduce the penguin theme. I'm hosting the free printable as an instant download at Living Montessori Now. You can always access the free penguin culture card here. You can use the version of the card with the title only, although I like the description: "These flightless birds live in colonies and huddle together for warmth during the winter months."
I like to buy at least one book specifically for a theme. I really like this National Geographic Kids Penguins reader.
Penguin Shape Matching Free Printable: Penguin Shape Matching Game from Life Over C’s
For this activity, I used a multicraft tray, Montessori insets from Alison's Montessori, a Montessori Services basket, and small tabletop easels to hold the penguin shape cards. These cards are such a fun extension for work with geometric shapes!
For most preschoolers, you could have two sets of the shapes that match metal inset shapes.
I use a Montessori Services rug on the floor for the layout.
For children who can read, there are word cards included!
Five Penguin Puppets and Counting Activities
Free Printable: Five Little Penguins: Counting Songs from Let’s Play Music
Free Printable: Five Funny Penguins Book and Game by Sheila’s Leaps in Learning at Teachers Pay Teachers
For this activity, I used a multicraft tray, with the penguin printables attached to craft sticks to make puppets. You could sing the songs in the post at Let's Play Music. I like the printable Five Funny Penguins book to go with the penguins as well. I printed out 4 pages per letter-size page, so it's smaller than it would be normally.
Penguin Cards and Counters
Free Printable: Penguin Numbers (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber)
I used a Montessori Services medium-size tray and 55 silver fish in a glass bowl. I LOVE these little fish beads! They're reasonably priced yet feel like a high-quality material. They come in sets of 50, so I ordered two sets. I like that they're all the same color and small enough to be used with many different activities.
I like to lay out my numbers and counters in the traditional Montessori way of rows of two counters with a left-over counter centered below the bottom row. This gives a visual impression of odd and even. For more about creating DIY numbers and counters and a link on how to present the lesson, check out my DIY Cards and Counters post.
I use a Montessori Services rug on the floor for the layout. Penguin Adding to 100 with Hundreds Chart Free Printable: Penguin Adding to 100 with Hundreds Chart from Life Over C’s
For this activity, I used a multicraft tray, large Bambu condiment cup, and brad and paper clip for the spinner.
The game is designed for addition, although younger children could spin and then put that many fish on the hundreds chart until it's full.
Penguin Word Family Sort Free Printable: Penguin Word Family Sort by Squirmy Scholars at Teachers Pay Teachers. I printed out the fish words in sets of 4 to make them small enough to fit in the penguins' stomachs. I used 4 nouns for each penguin, but you could use as many or few of the penguins and words as you wish.
Again I used a I used a multicraft tray, large Bambu condiment cup, and the printables.
3-D Penguin Paper Toy Craft Free Printable: 3D Penguin Paper Toy from Easy Peasy and Fun For this craft, I used a multicraft tray, Fiskar scissors, and glue. This cute activity would be best for kindergarteners and first graders who have good cutting and gluing skills.
More Free Penguin PrintablesGo to my post at Living Montessori Now for links to free penguin printables from around the blogosphere: Free Penguin Printables and Montessori-Inspired Penguin Activities.
And be sure to subscribe to my email list if you'd like to get an exclusive free printable each month (plus two more awesome freebies right away): Free Printables.
More Penguin ActivitiesMontessori-Inspired Arctic and Antarctic Unit
Montessori-Inspired Continent Activities – Penguins of Antarctica
Montessori-Inspired Multi-Level Penguin Activities
Kids’ Winter Activities Pinterest Board
Antarctica Educational Resources Pinterest Board
If you'd like to focus on manners with children, please check out my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to Teach Grace and Courtesy! It's written for anyone who'd like to feel comfortable teaching manners to children ages 2-12. I'm also one of the coauthors of the book Learn with Play – 150+ Activities for Year-round Fun & Learning!
Have a wonderful rest of the winter!
Deb Chitwood is a certified Montessori teacher with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Studies from Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, England. Deb taught in Montessori schools in Iowa and Arizona before becoming owner/director/teacher of her own Montessori school in South Dakota. Later, she homeschooled her two children through high school. Deb is now a Montessori writer who lives in San Diego with her husband of 41 years (and lives in the city where her kids, kids-in-law, and toddler granddaughter live). She blogs at Living Montessori Now.