Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Penguin Parent Challenge

Do your kids know that Emperor penguins that live in the Antarctic carry their eggs on their feet the until they hatch to ensure they don't freeze or crack?  It is the dad that takes care of the egg in the cold, by placing it on his foot and covering it with his stomach to keep it warm. The dad stands like that for almost two months without any food while the mother penguin goes searching for fish.  And we thought being pregnant for 9 months was hard.  Try balancing an egg on your feet for two months!

 Penguin Parent Challenge - Penguin Party Game

This game is inspired by those Emperor penguins.  The goal of the game is to keep your egg off the ice (ground) while you race other penguins to the finish line.  By wearing a big fat Emperor penguin belly, the challenge is made even greater.

Penguin Parent Challenge:

Goal of the game:

Balance an egg between your feet and keep your egg off the ice (ground) while you race other penguins to the finish line.

Penguin Parent Challenge - Penguin Party Game

Materials Needed:

  • 2 cushions - black and white preferable
  • 2 strings or belts to hold on the cushions
  • 2 balls - the smaller the ball, the bigger the challenge
  • Start and finish markers


  1. Divide the kids into two teams.
  2. Tie a penguin belly (cushion) onto the first child in each team.
  3. Help the children balance the ball between their ankles to start.
  4. On your mark, get set, go!  The kids will waddle from the start to the finish while trying to keep the ball between their feet.
  5. If the ball falls they can pick it up and continue but their penguin bellies will make this more and more of a challenge.  
  6. When those two penguins are done, they go back and the next two penguins can take the challenge.

Penguin Parent Challenge - Penguin Party Game

Optional Methods of Play - Don't allow eggs to fall:

This will make the kids more careful and also extend the game.  The main difference is that you will need to have a ball ready for each child as the balls can't be re-used between the children.

  1. Place a container at the finish line for the eggs to be placed in when they successfully get to the end without dropping their egg. 
  2. Steps 1-4 above are the same.  
  3. If an egg falls that child goes back to the line.  They do not get to start again.  
  4. When those two penguins are finished the next two penguins begin.  
  5. Continue until every child has had a turn then count the eggs in each container.  
  6. The team with the most eggs wins!
This version is based more on skill and accuracy rather than speed.  

Penguin Parent Challenge - Penguin Party Game

Making a Penguin Belly:

To make a penguin pillow like the ones I made above is super simple and requires no sewing skills at all.  Here's how I made them.

  1. I picked up 2 black cushion covers at Dollarama ($3 each).
  2. I cut out a white belly from a piece of white felt for each pillow.
  3. I glued the felt to the cushion cover using a glue gun.
  4. I inserted throw cushions we already had at home.  There is no worry of them getting dirty so you can use the ones right off your couch.
Penguin Parent Challenge - Making Your Penguin Pillow

Any cushions will work and they don't need to be 'penguin' cushions.  Use plain black and white pillowcases on regular bed pillows or just use what you have in your linen closet.  The game will be the same and the kids will still have just as much fun waddling around your home.


  1. This looks so fun! I hope you are still blogging great ideas like this when my daughter is old enough to play fun games like this.

    (P.S. Your kids look especially gorgeous in these photos)

    1. Gosh, hold her tight and savor those baby smells and milestones. Mine are growing up too fast. Big teeth now - totally changing their appearances.


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