This project was done as a learning activity during a one-week summer day camp, with groups of campers ranging in age from students who had just completed kindergarten to students who had just completed fourth grade. It was done in a classroom, and could easily be integrated into the curriculum as a project during the regular school year. The penguins were created in two forty-minute class sessions with each age group.
The tiny penguins were created to star in a stop motion animation short created later that week. There are plenty of wonderful Instructables on the the making of stop-motion animation, so this tutorial just features the process of making the tiny penguins, which I invented for the camp. The materials are inexpensive and readily available - each penguin cost less than 75¢ to make.
Each student will use scissors and basic sewing and gluing skills to create a tiny stuffed penguin, which will be used in a group project to demonstrate an understanding of penguins' environment and behavior. Differences between penguins will provide an opportunity for age-appropriate discussions of diversity.
Step 1: Materials
Cotton knit work glove - each glove is enough to make five penguins.
Small rubber band - I found clear ones in the hair accessories aisle at the pharmacy.
5mm googly eyes - the sticky ones were more expensive, so we got plain ones and used glue.
Fiberfill or other stuffing - you could even use the rest of the glove for this, but stuffing was easier with a large group.
Yellow and black craft felt or polyester fleece - the important feature is that it does not fray or ravel, and it can be glued.
Two nickels - really. (I looked at the prices for metal washers in the right size and weight, but for the number or penguins we were making, it was cheaper and easier to use nickels.)
Not pictured, but you will also need the following tools and materials:
Scissors - these need to be sharp enough to cut the felt or fleece. Some classroom scissors are fine for this, some aren't.
Chalk - to trace the pattern on the fabric.
Tape - to attach the pattern to the fabric - tape loops are easier to manage than pins.
Tacky glue or white glue.
Toothpicks and scrap paper or small cup - for sharing and applying the tacky glue.
Needle - can be any size - bigger eyes are easier for smaller children to thread.
Thread - white is ideal, but it won't show, so any color is fine.
Needle threader - optional, but it can help inexperienced sewers with the needle threading process. (I just threaded needles in advance of each session with pre-knotted thread for the youngest students.)
Sandwich-sized ziploc bag - for storage of each project between working sessions.