Penguin Story Time for Toddlers

Is there anything cuter in Winter than a waddling penguin?

Get excited for some adorable story time fun because today our Virtual Book Club for Kids theme is all about penguins. Below I’m sharing our favorite penguin stories and other fun penguin related activities for toddlers and preschoolers.

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Penguin Story Time Plan

Note: Our story times always have the same parts; We start with a hello song. Next, I read 2-3 books about a topic with a rhyme/song and group activity that works on a developmental goal in between each book. We end with a goodbye song and then head to the table for a creative or play invitation. These elements are all listed below so you can move them around into whatever order works for you!

Hello song.

Hi, Hello and How Are You (Watch on YouTube) with Let’s All Clap (Watch on YouTube) from Jbrary

Best Read Aloud Penguin Books

Featured Book: Penguin and Pinecone: a Friendship Story by Salina Yoon

This is truly one of the sweetest books I have ever read. Penguin befriends a Pinecone. He realizes it is cold and knits it a sweater. When that doesn’t work he sets off North to find his friend a new home. Time passes and eventually Penguin decides to find out how Pinecone is doing. What Penguin finds is heartwarming. 2+

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Little Penguins by Cynthia Rylant

This new wintry book captures the delight of a winter day through the eyes of children. Watch these adorable penguins as they get dressed and enjoy a snowy day. The simple text and relate-able subject makes this an excellent read aloud for toddlers. 2+

Penguin Problems by Jory John

Penguin has problems. Endless problems. The ultimate pessimist, glass half empty type of animal. He whines on and on until one day he meets Walrus. A hilarious read aloud only improved with Lane Smith’s comical depiction of Penguin and his woe-filled world. I included this here because we love it so much and it is a great read aloud, however I’d save this one for preschoolers and up. 3+

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A Penguin Story by Antoinette Portis

The penguin in this tale is remarkably positive outlook. She knows only the blue, black, and white of her world, but she is convinced there is more out there. One day a team of scientists with bright orange tents and suits arrives. Antoinette Portis is a master at proposing possibility. A Penguin Story is an uplifting read aloud. 2+

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Songs + Rhymes about Penguins

Penguin Action Rhyme for Kids from Preschool Powol Packets

Penguin Action Song and Gross Motor Activities from JDaniel4’s Mom


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Goodbye song.

The Goodbye Train is Leaving. (Watch on YouTube) from Jbrary

Penguin Story Time for Toddlers

Read More of Our Virtual Book Club Posts Here

Table Invitations about Penguins

In A Penguin Story, Antoinette Portis the little penguin describes his world as black, white, and blue. This activity is built on that uncomplicated idea. After you read the penguin stories, this simple creative invitation is perfect for toddlers and up. It took me about 5 minutes to prep this activity and the results were fun and diverse.

Penguin Story Time for Toddlers


Blue Construction Paper

White Paint

Black Paint


Cover for the Table. We use washable placemats like these.

Have a spot to put used paintbrushes and wash hands prepared.

Penguin Story Time for Toddlers


Prepare a spot for each toddler like the one pictured above. Each child should have a piece of paper, paint brushes (one for each color), a cup of black paint, and a cup of white paint.

Introduce the activity by saying you’re going to paint with white and black on blue paper, like the colors you read about in A Penguin Story. From there, encourage your toddlers to paint however they want.

While they work, include the color words in your observations. For example, “Wow, I see a lot of black in your picture!” or “You’re mixing the white and black together. Do you notice that?”

Find More Penguin Ideas on Pinterest

More Penguin Ideas

My co-hosts have some fantastic penguin ideas for you!

Alphabet Activity

Roll + Color Penguin Themed Letter Activity from Sea of Knowledge

Penguin Themed Alphabet Game with Free Printable from The Educators’ Spin On It

Numbers Activity

Penguin Ice Flow Counting Game from Rainy Day Mum

Sensory Activities

Penguin Sensory Bin from Mama Smiles

Penguin Icy Sensory World from Clare’s Little Tots

Pre-Writing Activities

Pinecone Penguin from To Be a Kid Again

Penguin Painting for Toddlers from Inspiration Laboratories

Penguin Name Matching Game from Toddler Approved

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6 thoughts on “Waddling Penguin Story Time for Toddlers

    1. Thanks lady! I love your counting game! I think my kids are going to love it.

    1. Thanks Emily! I showed my daughter your pinecone penguins this morning and she swooned. We are officially on a pinecone hunt.

  1. What a sweet way to engage with the Penguin stories, so opened ended. Thanks for cohosting the Virtual Book club for Kids this week!

    1. Thanks Kim. My toddlers always love opened ended projects the most.

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