Preschool Programs Chapter

By Heather Coleson

Race to the Poles

Books to Share

Penguins by Liz Pichon.

Romeo and Lou Blast Off by Derek Anderson.

Sergio Makes a Splash by Edel Rodriguez.

Turtle’s Penguin Day by Valeri Gorbachev.

Where is Home, Little Pip? by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman.

Books to Show or Booktalk

The Emperor Lays an Egg by Brenda Guiberson.

Knut: How One Little Polar Bear Captivated the World by Juliana, Isabella, and Craig Hatkoff.

Polar Bears by Gail Gibbons.

Bulletin Board

Cool Off With a Good Book

Cover the bulletin board with blue butcher paper. Create icebergs out of white construction paper to float on the blue butcher paper ocean. Add pictures of penguins and polar bears sitting on the icebergs reading books.


Ice, Ice Baby

Use the pattern provided in this program to make ice cube nametags for each child.

Find the ice cube nametag pattern at the end of this program.


Use white wrapping paper to cover boxes of various sizes. Paint the covered boxes with a watered down glue mixture. While the glue is still moist, sprinkle with white glitter. Arrange the boxes to resemble icebergs. Display books about polar animals around the icebergs. Add stuffed or toy penguins and polar bears.


Make snowflakes out of white paper. Watch an instructional video on how to do this at MetaCafe, _paper_snowflakes/. Alternately, buy snowflakes from Oriental Trading Company, Hang snowflakes from the ceiling on white crepe paper streamers or fishing wire. Use streamers or wire that is long enough so that the snowflakes are just out of the children’s reach and are hung at varying lengths. Turn on an oscillating fan so that the snowflakes move around. Decorate the walls with pictures of penguins and polar bears.


Purchase “Penguin Bubble Bottles” from Oriental Trading Company, These ice cube shaped bottles are filled with bubble soap and feature an assortment of penguins.


Make “Oreo Penguin Snacks” from cookies, candy corn, and Hershey’s kisses using the instructions found at DLTK, oreopenguin.htm.

Introductory Flannel Board Activity

In advance, make a Texas Traveler out of flannel using the template from Making Friends at Also in advance, use the patterns found at Making Friends at http://www.makingfriends .com/friends/f_winter.htm to make winter clothes for the traveler. Place the “Texas Traveler” on the flannel board. Talk to the children about the North and South Pole. Share interesting facts, like penguins only live in the South Pole and Polar Bears only live in the Arctic. Show the North and South Poles on a globe or map. Lay out winter clothes for your “Texas Traveler.” Let the children come up and dress the traveler for cold weather.

doll with pink outfit, white mittens and shoes


Sing “Have you Ever Seen a Penguin” to the tune of “Have you Ever Seen a Lassie”. Lyrics can be found at Hummingbird Educational Resources,

Sing “I’m a King Penguin” to the tune of “The Eency Weency Spider.” Lyrics can be found at Charles County Public Library,

Rhymes and Poetry

Five Little Penguins

Find the penguin pattern at the end of this program.

five little penguins



(Adapted from

  • Black, orange, white, red construction paper
  • Wiggle eyes or eye stickers
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape
  • Stapler

In advance, precut the penguin pieces using the patterns provided in this program. Each child will need one 4“ x 12” strip of black construction paper, one small black circle, one large black circle cut in half, one white oval, one red bow tie, two orange feet, one orange beak, and one pair of eyes. Wrap the short side of the 4” x 12” piece of black paper to make a tube. Staple it together. Glue the white oval lengthwise on to the black tube. Tape or glue the small black circle to the top of the tube. Tape or glue the two black half circles to make wings. Tape or glue the bowtie under the penguin’s chin. Tape or glue the feet to the bottom of the tube. Tape or glue the mouth and the wiggle eyes to the penguin’s head.

Find the penguin parts pattern at the end of this program.

Polar Bear Puppet

Use the templates provided at Polar Bears: A 1st Grade Webquest,, and small white paper bags, to create simple paper bag puppets. Alternately, make a polar bear puppet out of white Styrofoam cups. Directions are available at Twiggle Magazine,

Games and Activities

Penguin Egg Switch

Fill several large plastic eggs with rice or dried beans. Tape or hot glue the eggs shut. Divide the children up into teams of two. One team member stands at one end of the room and the other team member stands at the opposite side. Put an egg on the top of one of the child’s feet. The child must waddle across the room to his teammate without dropping the egg. Then the children have to exchange the eggs and the second child has to make it back to the finish line. Whichever team makes it back first wins. If the group is large, have relays or elimination rounds.

The Penguin Waddle

Dance the “Penguin Waddle,” a variation of the hokey pokey. Directions can be found at Preschool Express, 08/penguins-jan08.shtml.

Snowflake Match Game

Play the “Snowflake Match” game. Create at least five pairs of identical snowflakes. Mix them up and have the children take turns matching the flakes. Detailed directions can be found at Preschool Express,


Antarctic Antics. (19 minutes)

Snowflake Bentley. (16 minutes)

“The Tender Tale of Cinderella Penguin” on Tikki Tikki Tembo and More Favorite Tales. (52 minutes)

Web Sites

Penguin Cam

Watch the penguins at Sea World San Diego.

Ten Little Snowmen

Play this game to create an online snowman.

Professional Resources

Kids Soup

The online site for Twiggle magazine provides free printables, activities, and crafts. Check the theme list for penguins and polar bear materials.

Program Materials

Race to the Poles – Ice Cube Nametag Pattern

Printer Friendly PDF Version (13 KB)

Ice Cube

Race to the Poles – Penguin Pattern

Printer Friendly PDF Version (12 KB)


Race to the Poles – Penguin Parts Pattern

Printer Friendly PDF Version (11 KB)

Penguin Parts

Texas Reading Club 2010 Programming Manual / Catch the Reading Express!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011