Penguin Activities for Penguin Awareness Day

by Tonya Staab
Published: Updated:

Celebrate Penguin Awareness Day with the kids with these fun activities, crafts, books, costumes, movies, and fun food ideas.

penguin photo

Note: This post was originally created for the website Rusty and Rosy, however, that website is now offline. I have moved all of my content over here.

Did you know that Penguin Awareness Day is on January 20? Encourage your kids to learn more about penguins and have some penguin fun on this special day with all of these fun ideas.

Penguin activities for Penguin Awareness Day

Penguin Awareness Day activities for kids
Penguin Awareness day activities for kids

Macaroni penguin paper roll craft


  • Paper rolls
  • Black and white paint
  • Card stock – yellow and orange
  • Googly eyes
  • Glue
  • Paintbrush and scissors


Begin by painting the paper roll with black paint. While it is drying, sketch the feet, beak, and crest onto yellow and orange card stock and cut them out.

Paint the white section of the belly with two coats of paint, allowing each to dry.

Glue the beak, eyes, crest, and feet onto your paper roll penguin.

Paper plate penguins

My kids made these at school last year.


  • Paper plate
  • Card stock – black, white, orange, and another color of choice
  • Glue and scissors


Sketch the flippers, head, beak, feet, eyes, and bow tie onto card stock and cut out. Attach pieces to the paper plate with glue.

Stamped penguin shirt

You can find a tutorial for this fun potato-stamped penguin shirt here.

Penguin costumes

These fun handmade penguin costumes were made by my twins in preschool. 

5. Winter Felt Board and Felt Penguin

Visit my post to grab the tutorial to make winter felt boards and this adorable little felt penguin.

Penguin books

Here are 10 books all about penguins that kids will love.

  • National Geographic Readers: Penguins by Anne Schreiber
  • The Emperor’s Egg by Martin Jenkins
  • A Penguin Story by Antoinette Portis
  • If You Were a Penguin by Florence Minor
  • Antarctic Antics: A Book of Penguin Poems by Judy Sierra
  • Penguins, Penguins, Everywhere! by Bob Barner
  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater
  • 365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental
  • And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson
  • I Wonder Why Penguins Don’t Fly: And Other Questions About Polar Lands by Pat Jenkins

Penguin movies

Watch one of these fun movies with the kids that are all about penguins. We have lots of fun winter movie night ideas including a hot chocolate bar with penguin mugs.

  • The March of the Penguins
  • Happy Feet
  • The Penguins of Madagascar
  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins
  • Surf’s Up

Even more penguin activities

  • Dress like a penguin: Wear black and white, orange shoes and a bow tie.
  • Send a penguin card to a friend. Make a thumbprint penguin, or draw a penguin on card stock.
  • Visit penguins. Two years ago we had the wonderful opportunity to view penguins in their natural habitat at Philip Island in Australia. At sunset, we observed fairy penguins swim unto shore and waddle up the sand to their burrows. It was an amazing experience. If you do not live close enough to watch penguins in their natural environment, visit a local aquarium or zoo. You can check our experience at Breakfast with the Penguins at the San Diego Zoo.
  • Make a donation. Donate money, or adopt a penguin through rescue and research organizations such as The Penguin Foundation or Defender’s of Wildlife Adopt a Penguin program.
  • Have a penguin race. Place a large plastic egg (the kind you fill for Easter) on your kids feet and see who can waddle to the finish line first without cracking the egg open.
  • Have a penguin lunch. Make this adorable penguin lunch for the kids while they are learning all about penguins.

These activities would also be perfect for celebrating National Penguin Day too which is on April 25th and coincides with the migration of penguins.

How will you celebrate Penguin Awareness Day?

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