Do your kids love to learn about penguins as much as mine do!? There are 17 different kinds of penguins, and although they look different, there are some similarities. All live in the southern hemisphere, normally on the coasts of: Antarctica, South Africa, parts of South America, parts of Australia and New Zealand, and many different islands including the Galapagos (where I swam with some!)! All penguins have blackish backs and white bellies, and are flightless birds who are excellent swimmers. They feed underwater on krill and other creatures, and their predators are orcas, sharks, sea lions, and fur and leopard seals. Groups of penguins are called rookeries. Today penguins are threatened because of reduced food supply (due to over-fishing and global warming), pollution (such as oil spills), and reduced habitat (due to melting ice from global warming). Learn more about penguins with these phenomenal resources:
Penguin Resources: Web Sites
Download a free, high-quality poster of the Emperor Penguin’s life cycle from the US government’s Antarctic Program.
SeaWorld has lots of scientific facts and information about penguins in their educational resources.
Learn how climate change is affecting penguins as it jeopardizes the safety of penguin breeding areas, harms their food supply, and causes increased chick and adult mortality.
Interactive Antarctica Penguin map from National Geographic, with the sights and sounds of wildlife in Antarctica.
Check out this World Penguin Distribution Map from the International Penguin Conservation Working Group- click on the highlighted regions to learn which penguins inhabit which area on Earth.
Everything you wanted to know about New Zealand Penguins, and a second site for information on Australian Penguins. Includes information on the different species, locations, conservation, threats, games, and web cams!
Discovery Channel has a wonderful “Criminal Penguin” on-line (free!) game
“Science Adventures in Antarctica” is a free, downloadable game where kids (ages 8+) can learn about about scientific research being conducted in Antarctica, its geography and exploration.
Free Downloads of Penguin Identification Cards- this set of 9 photo cards (right) includes a photo and name on the front, and information about the penguins on the back: height, weight, location, prey, predators, population, and identifying features. What a great way for kids to learn more about nine different penguins! Plus they’re so darn cute….
Children’s Books about Penguins
So many great books about penguins for children! I have chosen our favorite non-fiction books, that teach kids about penguins, their habitat, behavior, life cycle, traits, and habits. From top left, going clockwise:
Penguins! by Anne Schreiber, National Geographic Kids
Penguins and Antarctica by Mary Pope Osborne (accompanies fiction Eve of the Emperor Penguin by the same author)
Penguins by Seymour Simon, Smithsonian
If You Were a Penguin, by Wendell Minor
Amazing Animals: Penguins, by Valerie Bodden
Penguins! by Gail Gibbons
Penguin Chick, by Betty Tathum (Let’s Read and Find Out Science) by
Video Clips of Penguins: