Tot School: Penguins

We watched Happy Feet over the weekend so naturally Madelynn is a bit in love with penguins lately which made it the perfect time for our penguin tot school theme. We did a few of the same penguin activities that we tried last year, but tried lots of new ones too!
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Here were our plans for Winter/Snow Week:
And here is what we actually did:

Our favorite penguin books for the week were:
Tacky the Penguin By Helen Lester
Penguins By Liz Pichon
If You Were a Penguin By Wendell and Florence Minor
Penguin Chick By Betty Tatham

Snow Letter Writing Tray:
Okay so we didn't really use snow, because of course we didn't have any on the ground to scoop up when I needed it. Instead I used salt sprinkled on our tot school tray, close enough right? Then we started out drawing lines, zig zags and circles using a penguin from our Penguin Toob. Madelynn is still a bit your to make letters on her own, so next i drew a letter in the salt tray and had her trace it with her penguin. Easy peasy fine motor practice.

Penguin Counting Tray:
For this fine motor activity we added in a little counting with a soft foam die. Madelynn rolled he die, counted the dots, then added that number of mini penguin erasers to her ice cube tray.  For a little extra challenge I gave her tweezers to pick up the erasers too.
Penguin Painting:
Now that Madelynn is getting pretty good at drawing shapes I have been trying to have her work on more open ended art projects. So for this painting I asked her to start by painting a penguin body with black paint. We looked at pictures of penguins in books so she could decide what shapes she needed. She told me she was going to make a big oval and a head. After that dried, we glued cotton balls on the head and body for the white parts and I gave her a few pre-cut pieces for the face and feet.
Igloo Painting:
To prep this activity I froze water inside empty fruit cups that I saved to make little "igloos." Then Madelynn used watercolors to paint her igloos.
Tacky the Penguin Play Dough Mat:
After reading Tacky the Penguin By Helen Lester, we made our own shirts and bow ties for tacky using play dough. I made a simple play dough mat that you can grab here. We also used our Melissa & Doug Play Dough Tools to stamp different shapes and textures on the clothes.
Penguin Dance Chant:
I have tons of preschool movement CDs that I used in the classroom full of fun themed songs. One song I remember loving was Jack Hartman's Penguin Dance Chant. The song has your little one(s) moving their left and right flippers, feet and more. You can find it on CD here or dance to the YouTube version like we did here
Penguin Waddle:
We did this activity last year, but thought we'd try it again now that Madelynn is bigger.  All I did was blow up a balloon and have her try to walk with it between her legs.  We talked about how penguin daddy's keep their eggs warm on their feet and have to shuffle around to move anywhere while the mommy is out getting food.
Iceberg Hop:
We did this one last year too, but it was fun and easy so we tried it again! I cut out white "icebergs" from cardstock and laid them out on the floor. Then I had Madelyn move in different ways between them. We tried walking, running, hopping on two feet, hopping on one foot, tiptoeing, and skating.
Penguin Cookies:
These cookies were pretty easy to make. I split the top half of an oreo into 2 pieces to make the wings and added a mini oreo for the head. Then I cut up an orange gumdrop for the feet and beak and added candy eyes on the face.
Build an Igloo:
For this fun interactive snack, I started with half an apple. I gave Madelynn some peanut butter and a plastic knife and helped her spread it all over the outside of the apple. Then we built our igloo with mini marhmallow "ice cubes."
Penguin Marshmallow:
This penguin snack was pretty easy to make too. I started by dipping a Jumbo Marshmallow in melted chocolate and let it set. then I added gumdrops and candy eyes again for the face and feet.
Veggie Penguin:
This one looked WAY cuter in my head, but it still kind of looks like a penguin right? I used cucumber, carrots, black olives and candy eyes for this one. Madelynn ate it and that has to count for something.
Penguin Sensory Bin:
In this sensory bin: Penguins from our Penguin Toob, instant fake snow, and empty fruit cup igloos. 
Penguin Sensory Bin:
In this sensory bin: Penguins from our Penguin Toobartificial snow, mini trees, and blue gems(ice).
Penguin Sensory Bin:
In this sensory bin: Penguins from our Penguin Toob, blue gems, frozen icebergs, bowls, and water.

That's it for this week! Next week we will be learning about our 5 senses:

And here are the themes that will be coming soon:
And if you want to catch up on our past Tot School Activities, you can find them all here:








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