penguins, the south pole, and activity ideas for preschoolers

January 7, 2010



I LOVE this book. We recently discovered Oliver Jeffers and are completely smitten. This book begins when a penguin shows up and begins following a little boy around. "The penguin looked sad and the boy thought it must be lost."

He tries and tries to help the penguin, but eventually decides that he must take the penguin back to the South Pole. They get in a rowboat and set out to sea.

He drops the penguin off at the south pole but when he looks back, the penguin looks "sadder than ever."

As he is rowing home, he thinks, "there was no point telling stories now because there was no one to listen except the wind and the waves. Instead, he just thought. And the more he thought...the more he realized he had made a big mistake! The penguin hadn't been lost. It had just been LONELY.'

He heads back to get his friend only to discover that the penguin is gone (he's floating back to the boy on an umbrella.)

Eventually they meet up at sea and they hug. (Juliet likes to give me a big penguin hug at this point.) And it ends with "And so the boy and his friend went home together, talking of wonderful things all the way." The image that accompanies this is beautiful--An arieal view of the two in a rowboat sailing the open sea with whales swimming underneath them.

As I was searching for more information about this book, I discovered this trailer for an animated version of this story. I thought you might like to see it--it gives you an idea of the story.




This book got us talking about penguins and where they live, so after looking at Antarctica on a map, we did a couple fun "south pole-ish" activities together.

(I found both of these ideas at The Activity Mom--if you are in need of some easy and fun ideas for your toddler and preschooler, check her blog out, it's amazing!)


1. Playing in the "snow" like penguins do--since we don't get real snow where we live, we have to make do with the shaving cream kind. Juliet LOVED this and has requested to do it over and over again this week.


2. Playing with ice--This was fun for Juliet to do while I was getting dinner ready one night. I made some colored ice balls (using my pumpkin ice mold) and dropped them in a bowl of water. Then I had Juliet practice transferring the ice from one bowl to another using a spoon.

This was another big hit. Our house must have been a little too warm for this activity though because the ice melted really quickly! I tried to replace them with regular ice, but Juliet seemed to enjoy the colored ice better.

We haven't done this yet, but I think this penguin playset from Frugal Family Fun looks like an easy and fun craft we can do together one day soon.

Raising a Happy Child left a comment that mentioned a really fun blog called Always Something to Learn. I love this footprint penguin craft--it would be the perfect afternoon craft activity to do after reading this book.

Do you have any fun snow and ice activities or books to share?




5 comments:

Chels said...

Fun, fun, fun! We read that book long ago, absolutely loved it and I had forgotten about it. That movie looks adorable. I just did a quick search about it and I found that it's a UK movie released in 2008, only 24 minutes long, and you can purchase it from Amazon UK. Bummer. I really want to see all of it now!

Currently I am on a penguin kick and have 8 penguin books stacked up and some activities planned. When I do my penguin post I will definitely include this!

Some penguin books we like:
Sergio books by Edel Rodriguez
A Penguin Story by Antoinette Portis
Little Pip books by Karma Wilson

I wish we could send you some of our snow! It's not melting very quickly. Hope you're feeling better. When mom is sick, the whole house seems to suffer!

Raising a Happy Child said...

We had this book read during story time in the library once, and I agree with you - it's quite lovely. I have to remember to pick it up during our Antarctic visit in Geography track. I saw some neat ideas for ice play here - http://alwayssomethingtolearn.blogspot.com/ - she is having a fun time with penguins too.

The Harris Family said...

I am loving your South pole ideas (I've been looking for some) I am going to add these to our list. Also thanks for mentioning and following my blog!

-Crystal
from always something to learn

Jackie said...

Great ideas. We are going to learn about penguins next week for some of our letter "P" activities. We just played in real snow today, but my children also love playing with shaving cream.

Sondy at Sonderbooks said...

I'm doing Mother Reader's Comment Challenge and liked the sound of your blog name. Now I'm going to have to come here next time I need activities for Preschool Storytime! What a great Mom you are to try these things out with your daughter!

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