National Penguin Day takes place on January 20, 2021. What’s not to love about penguins…These curious little creatures waddle around in adorable tuxedos! This day is all about celebrating penguins and more importantly it’s the perfect time to think about saving this endangered species. Due to the climate change many penguin colonies have been lost; it is predicted that half the population of emperor penguins will vanish by the end of this century. In preparation for this awareness day, I thought I would share some creative crafts,  inspiring activities and recommended books to read. Hopefully through the study and investment in Penguins, these birds will get the attention they need to continue to thrive.


I wanted to start off this article by sharing a handful of the best penguin books for kids. These picture books are great for snuggling up to read before bedtime or planning educational lessons. I will include books appropriate for kids of all ages. However, most are best for early elementary school aged. Books are a great way to teach about penguins during the month of January. Not just because it National Penguin Day but because it’s generally freezing outside during this time of year. I have found my children enjoy the non-fiction reads just as much as they the fiction texts, so it’s good to have a variety when it comes to focusing on this topic.


There are so many great ideas available on Pinterest. This year we enjoyed making a Penguin out of a toilet paper roll. However, the options are endless from popsicle sticks to hand print penguins, here are few ideas and links to tutorials.


I love creating activities that foster learning through play. After reading Mr. Poppers Penguins we wanted to play don’t break the ice but were unable to get the actual board game. So we decided to make our own! What great about this game is watching as the tension builds as you watch your luck dangle on the sturdiness of a thin piece of tissue. If you are looking for more fun ideas check out these Ice Activities For Kids by The Playful Parent.


  • 1 Cup (Red Solo Cups work perfect)
  • Tissue Paper
  • 1 Rubber Band
  • 1 Toothpick Per Player
  • 10-12 Marbles
  • A set of dice


The first step is to make your “ice.” Lay one piece of tissue across the top of the cup. Create a flat surface by using a rubber band to secure the tissue to the cup. Add a handful of marbles to the “ice” surface.


The objective is to not break the ice! Start with the youngest player. They roll two dice. The first die determines how many times to poke the ice with the tooth pick. For an example, if you roll a three, the player must poke the ice three times. The second die determines how many marbles to add or take away. If you roll even number than add that many marbles to the to top, if you roll a odd number remove that many marbles from the top.  Play continues in a counter-clockwise rotation. If any marbles fall into the base of the cup, the game ends because the player broke the ice.

***The Playful Parent is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that advocates learning through play. I hope that these activities inspire lots of fun. All information and images are intellectual property of The Playful Parent.***