Project of the Week: Thumbprint Penguins

Our ‘Project of the Week’ just makes me smile…at a first glance it may be difficult to determine what the little black, ‘gumdrop’ animals are.  However, the texturized ‘snow’ is a good clue that they are, in fact, a silly line of penguins!  Henry and I had a blast creating our wintry scene, and I loved his little thumbprints (penguins’ bellies) too!

You Will Need:

  • construction paper
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • white tissue paper or white paper
  • white paint
  • white crayon or chalk

Prep the Project: Cut out mini penguins, from black construction paper.  I folded a piece of black construction paper into quarters, so that I was cutting out four, little penguins, at once.  They are cut in a ‘gumdrop’ shape.  Lay the penguin shapes, along with a blue piece of construction paper, a piece of white tissue paper, and glue, out on the table.

First, we decided to add the ‘snow mounds’ to a blue backdrop (construction paper).  Henry covered the bottom portion of the paper in glue.  Unlike Teddy, Henry thoroughly enjoyed ‘going to town’ with the glue.  He made sure to create a thick layer of ‘purple’ glue, before adding the strips of tissue paper ‘snow’.

I encouraged my son to rip the paper into all different size pieces…long, thin pieces, squares, jagged, etc.  I also modeled how we didn’t have to lay the tissue pieces smoothly, but that the tissue looked really neat and authentic, when the piece was bunched up a bit.  Ripping paper is a great way to develop hand muscles.  We used up about a half a piece of white tissue paper, covering the bottom portion of the blue backdrop.


After completing the snowy hills, Henry added a line of frolicking penguins!  He used a piece of white chalk to add the eyes.  I would recommend doing the eyes first, because it would be difficult to add the eyes, once the penguins bellies are wet, with the white paint.  However, I had to keep reminding Henry to draw the eyes, high up, on the penguins body.

I poured a small amount of white paint, onto a scrap piece of black paper…you don’t need much paint at all!  Next, have your little one dip his or her thumb into the white paint and then, onto each penguin.  You only want a thin layer of paint, on your child’s thumb.  I just love the little thumbprints! Each penguin is unique, some with more complete thumbprints, sideways prints, etc.

Finally, Henry insisted that we had at least one penguin ‘belly-boganning’ (Paw Patrol!), so we added a penguin, diving down, into the snow!

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