This week, we'll be doing some fun activities all about Arctic animals. We had a lot of fun learning about some of the different animals that live in the polar regions. First up is the puffin. Did you know that puffins are so bad at flying that they often crash while landing? Or that puffin mothers only lay one egg at a time? We learned all we could about these colorful birds and then made some fun paper plate masks so we could spend the rest of the day pretending to be puffins.
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Paper plate (1 per mask)
Paint (Black, white, orange, red, yellow)
To begin, cut your paper plate in half. Fold the sides in on one of your halves, similar to the picture above. This will be your beak. Turn the half over and start painting your strips. The curved, ridged side will be the part of the beak closest to your face.
While the paint on your beak is drying, cut out the eye holes on your other half. (I usually do this part myself since I use my sharpest scissors.) Draw a few guidelines and paint the head of your puffin. Use black to paint the middle section and leave the parts around the eyes white (or gray or red as my daughters preferred!).
After your paint has dried, overlap the folded ends of your beak and pull together. (See picture above.) Allow the painted part of the beak to curve upwards. Tape your beak together securely.
Bend the top of your beak under just a bit and secure it to your head piece with more tape. I taped on the beak directly underneath the eye holes.
See, looks just like a puffin profile! The girls loved wearing their masks and running around like puffins. Plus, some of those fun facts we read stuck securely in their minds. We love learning about animals and found the puffin endlessly fascinating.
For more information about puffins:
- Read a book about puffins. Check at your library in the nonfiction section for a good choice. We read Puffins (Arctic Animals) by Julie Murray.
- Check out the Atlantic Puffins Creature Feature at National Geographic Kids. Learn facts, look at pictures, see a map where they live, and even watch a short video.
- Visit Project Puffin. Project Puffin from the National Audubon Society is chock full of information. Find out about research project and conservation efforts. And, in the spring, during mating season, they've got a couple of puffin cams for you to watch!
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