Instructables

Tiny Penguins

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Thanks for all the wonderful support!! The Tiny Penguins Instructable won a runners-up prize in the Teacher Contest - I am grateful for all your votes and comments.

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.

Learning objective:
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.

 
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minipoppy2 years ago
Aah, the stop motion video is adorable - well done!
Looks easy enough to modify. I wonder if it's possible to make bunnies.
egp (author)  javajunkie19762 years ago
Ooh. Tiny bunnies. You may have given me my next project! I expect it would not be too hard to make a larger bunny from a pair of work gloves (fingers = ears?) but I'd love to try to make small finger-sized ones...
I think that if you took the material that would have become the wings and tail for the penguins and cut them into diamond shapes, they could become the ears and tail for the bunnies. If you use different colored gloves, they could become the different coat patterns that bunnies have. I would then use heart shaped buttons for the noses or at the very least sew on a felt patch in the same shape.
egp (author)  javajunkie19762 years ago
What a great way to do it! I was imagining an upright bunny, but now I'm envisioning a more lifelike, less cartoon-y version, after reading your description. Please post a picture if/when you make one. (And I'll do the same...) Thanks so much.
Will do.
cute
egp (author)  dylanrichards2 years ago
Thanks so much - the students really enjoyed this project. And I loved the expressive quirkiness of their results.
kindergarten in the form of this work appeared to me to try first before knitting
egp (author)  colinpike79372 years ago
This is much easier for Kindergarten-aged students than knitting. I hope you try it and have fun!
angelabchua2 years ago
A couple things to address...

a) The video is AMAZING! I can't help but smile at all those little guys in action!
b) what a great activity for gross and fine motor skills, and of course, it's fun
c) I was sidetracked and saw your webpage, and I love your drawings. quite inspirational! Love the idea of a drawing a day....

Awesome i'ble!
egp (author)  angelabchua2 years ago
Thanks so much! Each of the penguins - like each of the students - has an individual personality. When you get students to notice that and at the same time collaborate to create something bigger - magic can happen.

(And I'm glad you like the drawings on my site, thanks for telling me! Drawing every day is a space of quiet and play for me. I heartily recommend it as a project, if you're at all tempted...)
angelabchua egp2 years ago
I am totally tempted! Thanks for inspiring me!
egp (author)  angelabchua2 years ago

Go for it! I got myself a little Moleskine sketchbook as a post-Christmas present in 2004, and decided to use it for daily sketching. (People told me that the best way to learn to draw was to draw every day.)

When I'd drawn pictures in that little sketchbook for 28 days in a row, I was so excited by what I'd done, and how much better my drawing had gotten, that I posted the pictures to my blog. The next day, I posted another picture... and then the next... and the next. And I've been drawing and posting ever since!
wilgubeast2 years ago
This is completely and totally adorable.

Excellent work. I bet the kids had a great time.
egp (author)  wilgubeast2 years ago
They really seemed to enjoy the challenges, and were proud of their results. We had good conversations throughout. (And they still remember who I am when they see me in the hallway, which gives me a wonderful feeling of celebrity. I mostly teach middle school and high school students, who are too cool to call out to me when I walk past...)
ChrysN2 years ago
Cute little guy, at first I thought it was knitted but it is even easier than that, great project for kids!
egp (author)  ChrysN2 years ago
Thanks!

You're right - I was looking for the easiest possible way to make these, so went with snipping off a ready-made glove's finger. Knitting a tiny penguin would be fun, though...
That is so adorable! Great job! And that video! So cute!
egp (author)  Penolopy Bulnick2 years ago
Thanks! We had so much fun making them.

The initial challenge was to find a method that was easy enough for the little ones to make independently, and to figure out how to make them very very cheaply. I was pleased with how the project turned out.
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