Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Penguin Math Game Pieces

I've caved to PP...aka peer pressure. Or maybe it's penguin pressure?  Yep, I'm going to do a penguin unit study, too. If you want to do it along with us, start gathering penguin books. I'll be posting our lessons as we go.

In preparation, I've also been working on preparing this penguin game from Mathwire. While I think the clothespin penguins are very cute, I needed two types of penguins/game pieces and I wasn't sure that my kids could keep tall pieces steady on such a small board. So I made penguin game pieces from flat marbles. (You know...vase gems, glass blobs.) I bought a huge bag of them at a garage sale. You can also get them at the dollar store.

I tried several ways to paint them. The ones pictured above were painted on the bottom of the glass so that the top, shiny part shows up. Although the photo isn't great (it's hard to take a clear picture of curved glass!) this looks pretty cool because it gives the effect of the penguins peering out through glass or ice. You just have to remember to paint the layers backward, layering eyes before body color.

I also took photos of the game board with the painted pieces facing up.

I put this penguin paint template on Google Docs to show how to paint each type of penguin. (Click on the photo.)


  1. Penguins are cute no matter the size or shape! I need to make those...

  2. Oh my!! My 6 year old would love these, probably more than chocolate. How many pieces did you make? (to help me decide if i want to make a bunch of glass penguins.) :-)


  3. Thanks, all!

    @Tracy...I made 24...12 of each. That's what I needed for the Mathwire Penguin Game. It didn't take long...just time in between layers to dry them. I used acrylic paint, btw.

    Have fun making them! ;)

  4. Love this idea! I know your study of penguins has passed, but next time, look for the AIMS activity Penguin Probability and Snowman Spinners. I use this as an introductory activity to probability. Young kids have great fun building penguins. The first penguin spinner is split in half, penguin tops and penguin bottoms. The second spinner is not fair. You can preview it at:

  5. Thank you, Tricia! That activity looks fantastic!


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