Friday, April 26, 2013

Penguin Poppers

What kid doesn't like the opportunity to shoot things at their friends and siblings?  These Penguin Poppers made from plastic cups are the perfect activity indoors or out.  By using cotton balls or marshmallows as penguin eggs there is no fear of anyone getting hurt.  The worst that can happen is a sore belly maybe if they scoop them up and eat them - marshmallows, that is, like my kids did.

Creating the Penguin Poppers is a fun craft all in itself that the kids could make with you.  But, it is a multi-step project so it isn't one that they could do at a party and play with later on unless perhaps it was a sleepover.  If you want to play with Penguin Poppers at your next party, I suggest that you make one for each child ahead of the date.

Materials Needed to make Penguin Poppers:

  • Plastic cups (SOLO cups work perfectly)
  • Exacto knife
  • Black tape (optional)
  • Craft paint - black, white, orange
  • Paint brushes
  • Large round balloons (not long skinny ones)
  • Cotton balls, marshmallows, or ping pong balls

Instructions to make Penguin Poppers:

  1. Using an Exacto knife, trim the top off the cups.  I followed the baseline and it was simple.
  2. Paint the cups black.  It will take about 2 coats to give a solid colour.  Allow to dry.
  3. Paint the white tummy of the penguin using white craft paint.  The uncut end of the cup is the bottom of your penguin, the cut end is the top (head).  Leave about 1" black above your tummy.  To get the shape, create the top like you are making a heart then continue straight down instead of curving to a point.  Allow to dry.
  4. Paint on the eyes using black paint.  I dipped the end of a pencil into the paint and dabbed it on.
  5. Paint the penguin's beak using orange paint.  Allow to dry.
  6. Cut the top off of coloured balloons.
  7. Tie a knot at the bottom of each balloon as if it was blown up.
  8. Stretch the cut end of the balloon over the top of your penguin to give him a hat.


  • You can spray paint the cups instead of using craft paint if you are making a lot.
  • I put a strip of black hockey tape around the cut edge just to reinforce it.  It was hidden by the balloon hat.
  • If you find it hard to make the shape of the white tummy, just make them ovals. 
  • By leaving a little more space at the top of the penguin (approx. 1") before starting the white belly, it allows you to pull the balloon down further which stops it from popping off as much if the kids pull really hard.

How to use a Penguin Popper:

  1. Put one or more 'eggs' (cotton balls, marshmallows, or ping pong balls) into your penguin. 
  2. Tip the cup slightly upwards. 
  3. Pull down on the knotted balloon and release. 
  4. The penguin eggs will go flying.

Penguin Popper Games:

My kids had a blast just running around the yard, chasing each other and shooting penguin eggs.  But, there are lots of games you could make-up for a more organized play experience.

Penguin Freeze Tag:  

One child has a penguin and lots of penguin egg ammunition.  They chase the rest of the kids around and shoot eggs at them.  If a child is hit by an egg they are 'frozen' and must remain in that spot until another child tags them.

Penguin Targets:  

Set up some lightweight objects on a table.  The kids can shoot their eggs at the targets and try to knock them down.

Penguin Targets 2:  

Put down a hula hoop or draw some circles with chalk on the ground.  Have the kids stand back and try to aim their eggs so that they land in the circles.

Penguin Distance Training:

Have the kids line up in a row.  Each one can shoot an egg and see which egg goes the farthest.


  1. This looks like so much fun!

    I love the idea of being hit with something I can eat :)

    1. That just made me laugh out loud. Too funny!

  2. So fun! Love this idea - way better than a water fight!

    1. And drier too! It is great because it can be played inside and outside.

  3. I'm laughing at Sarah Lynn's comment. Looks like a fun craft and no one gets hurt :)

    1. Sarah's comment was too funny. Just don't eat too many marshmallows to avoid a belly ache!

  4. What a cute idea!! My kids would totally love this!! :) You're blog is very cute and lots of creativity. I'm following!!

    Thanks again for joining our Pinterest "group" board!


    1. Thank you Vicky! I love discovering new bloggers and great ideas too. Looking forward to more of your craftiness!


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