Learning about Little Penguins. Simple Paper Plate Penguin Craft + Win a Penguin Pal!

May 30, 2014

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Here in Victoria, Australia is a beautiful little island called Phillip Island. It is home to a diverse range of incredible wildlife and is one of our favourite getaway spots as a family. A particular favourite animal of mine and the kids, is the penguin, and Phillip Island is one of the few places that you can see the Little Penguins in their natural habitat.

Fact: Did you know that the Little Penguin is the smallest of the 17 penguin species and is the only penguin that lives permanently in Australia? 

A friend of mine, Lauren, works for The Penguin Foundation on Phillip Island, which is a charity dedicated to supporting the work done by Phillip Island Nature Parks and in particular, the research, conservation and rehabilitation of the Little Penguin. When Lauren invited us down to see and learn even more about the incredible efforts going on to support these gorgeous creatures as well as some of the other great wildlife on Phillip Island, we couldn't wait.

Here are some snippets from our day.

First stop, the Koala Conservation Centre. We met up with Ranger Kim who showed us around and taught us all about the wildlife and conservation work
The children were excited to spot their first koala. You had to be observant as they blend well into their environment.
The male koala was quite a bit bigger than most of the females
What can you spot?
Koalas are nocturnal so they are usually asleep during the day. There were so many to spot
After the koalas, we made our way to the Penguin Parade. The kids loved all the displays and learning more about the Little Penguins.
Walking like penguins with Ranger Kim
Look what we spotted!
Hello little wallaby
If you look closely, you might be lucky enough to spot penguins nesting in the little box houses all around the parade
Strolling along the beach where later, the Little Penguins will make their dash across the open sand to the safety of the surrounding hills.
The children learnt about the volcanic rocks on Phillip Island,  (I'd not known about the volcanic origins, that was new info for me too) and made their very own volcano right in the sand. They were delighted to try their skills at another sand volcano.
From the observatory tower, the children recalled all they had learnt that day and used it as inspiration to decorate boomerangs whilst overlooking the seas that would bring the penguins in that night.
One of the tiered viewing platforms overlooking Summerland beach
We all had such an amazing day. It was by no means our first trip to Phillip Island but it was the most interesting one we've had yet. Thanks Lauren and Ranger Kim!
We hitched a ride back in a golf buggy and then the kids were presented with their very own Penguin Pal with adoption certificate. These of course HAD to come back with us later to see the penguins.
Later that night, we rugged up and came back to the Penguin Parade to see the Little Penguins make their way up from the shore to their homes and burrows around the island. For the protection of the penguins, flash photography is not allowed so here is a gorgeous pic of the penguins coming in from the shore, courtesy of Phillip Island Nature Parks.

Photo credit: Phillip Island Nature Parks

The penguins come up in little groups and you are able to get very close to them. It is so cool to see them in their natural habitat and was a family experience that we will always remember.

How do Phillip Island Nature Parks and Penguin Foundation work together?

The Penguin Foundation is a charity that was established to raise funds to support little penguin and other wildlife conservation on Phillip Island. They assist Phillip Island Nature Parks penguin research and conservation programs. Phillip Island Nature Parks is owned by the Government but is a self-funded, not-for-profit ecotourism organisation which invests revenue raised through ecotourism activities into research, environment and education programs.

How can you help support the work being done by the Penguin Foundation?

You can support the work being done by the Penguin foundation in a number of ways:

Giveaway Please Note. This competition has now ended.

Thanks to the Penguin Foundation, we have 4 Little Penguin Pal packs to giveaway.

To enter answer the following question in the comments:

A special part of adopting a Little Penguin Pal from the Penguin Foundation is naming it. If your kids adopted a Little Penguin Pal, what would they name it and why?
(Feel free to ask your kids for their inspiration on this one. Our 4 favourite names will each win a Little Penguin Pal Adoption for their family)

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNERS: Emily Hutchison, weelittlekids, Tania Meredith, Jodie Clarke please email learnwithplayathome@gmail.com to claim your prize.

Conditions of Entry: 

  • This competition is open worldwide however may be suited better to those able to utelise the free pass to the Parade.
  • Become a fan of the Penguin Foundation FB page
  • Leave a comment on this post with your penguin name suggestion and why you chose that name*
  • This is not a game of chance. This is a game of skill and the 4 most creative responses, as judged by us will each win a pack.
  • Winners will be notified on this comment feed and further correspondence will be conducted via email. Please check back to see if you have won. If you leave an email address we will contact you directly. Winners need to contact us within 48 hours or the prize will go to the next runners up. 
  • Entries open 9am (AEST) Friday 30th of May, and close 9pm (AEST) Friday 6th of June. Winners will be announced the following Wednesday, 11th of June.
    *If you are unable to leave a comment for some reason, (some mobile devices are apparently causing issues) you may email your response to learnwithplayathome @ gmail.com and I will post your comment for you.

For LOTS more facts about the Little Penguins and other animals found on Phillip Island, have a look here. A great resource for teachers!

Paper Plate Penguin Craft

After the fantastic experience we had seeing and learning more about the Little Penguins on Phillip Island, we were inspired to continue our learning at home. We made this cute, simple little penguin from a single paper plate, taking note of the fact that the penguins we saw did not have orange beaks at all! In fact, they, and most penguins aren't quite the same colouring that we are used to seeing in books and cartoons. This was a good chance to talk about this with the kids, even though, in the end they decided they wanted their penguins to have orange beaks. You can make yours in any style and with any colours you like though.

Can't get enough of penguins? Try this penguin sushi! (no, not made from penguin, check it out).

Happy playing,
Debs :)

We like to play here as well. Come play with us :)
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