Kids are fascinated with penguins. Learning about a penguin’s life cycle is interesting, but learning STICKS when kids create with Wikki Stix. By creating the penguin life cycle with Wikki Stix, kids not only use fine motor skills, but the hands-on creation helps the brain make important connections to learning. Try the Wikki Stix created penguin life cycle at home or in the classroom this winter with your own kids.
Emperor penguins live in Antarctica. Show your kids on a map where to locate Antarctica (some kids think of Arctic animals when they think of penguins). Just like all birds, Emperor penguins have a life cycle. The emperor penguins lay eggs in Antarctica during the month of April. A mother penguin lays just one egg, leaves it with the father to incubate, and goes on a hunting trip for food. During the time the mother is away, the father penguin keeps the egg warm on his feet by covering the egg with a flap of his skin. The father feeds the newly hatched chick until the mother returns. The mother returns in July, and the father gives the chick back to her while he goes to find food. The mother penguin spits up food stored in her stomach to feed to the chick so it can continue to grow. The life cycle then repeats as another egg is made.
Life Cycle of a Penguin Activity:
Materials needed –
- Black, White, and Orange Wikki Stix
- Mounting Paper
- EGG – Kids can create the penguin egg with white Wikki Stix. There is not a wrong or right way to create an egg with Wikki Stix. Kids may wish to create a white Wikki Stix ball or oval shape, or make a tight spiral for the penguin’s egg.
- INCUBATION – Kids can make a father penguin with a Wikki Stix egg on the father’s feet. Suggestions for the adult penguin: make two black Wikki Stix circles or spirals, and then place one on top of the other. Kids can add a white Wikki Stix circle for the tummy, and any features desired (orange or yellow beak, feet, eyes, etc.)
- HATCHLING/BABY CHICK – Kids can create another white Wikki Stix egg shape with a black Wikki Stix circle at the top to resemble the baby chick hatching from the egg.
- YOUNG ADULT – the young adult can be created in the same manner as the adult penguin, just smaller. Each Wikki Stix creation will be unique to the ages and abilities of the kids creating.
- ADULT PENGUIN – the adult penguin can be created in the same manner the father penguin was created above.
When kids have finished creating the individual parts of the penguin’s life cycle, invite them to place the created pieces into a circle on the mounting paper. Kids may wish to create arrows with Wikki Stix (see photo) to indicate how the penguin’s life cycle progresses. Remind kids that the penguin’s life cycle continues and begins anew with an egg.
Penguin Life Cycle Sequencing Activity:
Materials needed –
- One Penguin Life Cycle Sequencing Cards Free Printable – download and print here.
- Laminating supplies or clear contact paper (optional)
- Download and print the penguin life cycle sequencing cards and laminate for durability, if desired.
- Cut the individual life cycle cards apart.
- Kids should place the cards into the correct penguin life cycle sequence. The sequencing activity will be a breeze for kids after creating the life cycle with Wikki Stix.
- Review the penguin’s life cycle stages with kids as they do the sequencing activity.
There are many great books and documentaries about penguins. Penguins are fascinating birds and kids will love learning, sequencing, exploring, and creating the penguin life cycle with Wikki Stix. For more Penguin and Winter FUN with Wikki Stix, please visit: