One of our favorite places to go as a family is the zoo. My children love the Ocean exhibit and all of the animals from the Sting Rays to the Penguins. On our last visit to the zoo, we learned that Penguins have an oil-producing gland that make their feathers waxy. The wax on the feathers repel the cold water and help keep them dry.
Since our trip to the zoo, we have read several books and done a variety of learning activities all about Penguins. One of our favorites was our Penguin Feathers Science Experiment to test how penguins stay dry.
- Penguin Printable (Click on the link to print)
- Spray Bottle
- Blue Food Coloring (optional)
- Print the Penguin Printable.
- Color the penguin with crayons.
- Fill a spray bottle with water.
- Add 2-3 drops of blue food coloring to the water. (optional)
- Spray the water onto the colored penguin.
- Observe the water repel off the penguin.
After the experiment, discuss with your children or students how the wax from the crayon prevents the water from absorbing into the paper. It’s just like how the wax on the penguins’ feathers repel the water and help keep the penguins dry.
Extend The Learning:
Print 2 copies of the penguin but only color one. Spray the one that is not colored and watch the water absorb into the paper. Then, spray the colored penguin and watch the water repel off the paper. Compare the two penguins and how the wax helps keep the penguins dry.
Here Are More Polar Animal Ideas from the Early Elementary Team:
Penguin Addition to 100 with Hundreds Chart from Life Over C’s
Polar Animals Facts Game from In the Playroom
Polar Bear Place Value Math Games from Sugar Aunts
Polar Bear Footprint Multiplication from Still Playing School
Arctic Animals Sight Words Game from 123 Homeschool 4 Me
Polar Animals True or False? from Sallie Borrink – Living and Learning Outside the Box
Polar Animal Pattern Activity for First Grade from Look! We’re Learning!
Penguin Art Project from Preschool Powol Packets