National Penguin Awareness Day (January 20)
Check out the weird holiday National Penguin Awareness Day on January 20. Learn the history of penguins and get ideas on how to celebrate.
One weird holiday on January 20 is National Penguin Awareness Day. Check out the other weird January holidays!
History of National Penguin Awareness Day
Penguins are aquatic birds that are native to the southern hemisphere – contrary to popular belief, they do not originate in Canada, Alaska, or the North Pole. Instead, penguins are found naturally in Antarctica, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Peru, the Falkland Islands, and the Galapagos Islands.
There are 18-20 known species of penguins. The largest is the Emperor Penguin, and the smallest is the Little Penguin (which is found in Australia and New Zealand). Penguins are believed to have been around for over 65 million years.
Many penguin colonies have been lost to climate change, hunting, and other reasons, which is the reason for this weird holiday. Scientists estimated in a study in 2018 that around 2/3 of the Emperor penguin colonies will vanish by the year 2100.
Penguins are part of the bird family, even though they can’t fly. They use their wings as flippers to help them move quickly underwater, and they are very talented at swimming and diving.
Penguins are picky eaters. They consume mainly krill and fish, and they create “penguin highways” through the ice to make it easier for them to collect food. They need to consume a very specific diet in order to keep their feathers and eggshells healthy.
In 1772, the first person to “discover” Emperor penguins is Johann Reinhold Forster, who spotted them during the voyage of James Cook. It wasn’t until 1911, however, that Robert F. Scott led two expeditions that discovered and investigated the first breeding colony of Emperor penguins.
In 2018, more than one million Adelie penguins were found living on the Danger Islands, which are remote islands off the coast of Antarctica.
This weird holiday about penguins gained popularity in 2010, when scientists began to motivate the public in penguin preservation and convservation. In 2017, Polito Lab released a video explaining what they do to study the lives of penguins in Antartica.
Shortly after, the LSU College of the Coast and Environment began releasing short clips of penguins on Facebook, which also teach people important facts about penguins. Here is one about Penguin Awareness:
Some charities, like the Global Penguin Society, focus solely on protecting a penguin’s natural habitat. They will allow you to “adopt a penguin” for a small amount of money every month. Local zoos also do much to help preserve penguins whose homes have been destoryed.
Ideas for National Penguin Awareness Day
Other than watching Happy Feet or the documentary March of the Penguins, here are some ways you can celebrate this weird holiday.
Easy Penguin Cookies: No Bake Christmas Treats That Kids Love
These Easy Penguin Cookies are super cute, quick to make and kids LOVE them. They're perfect to make on National Penguin Awareness Day! You can even let the kids help out in creating them!
Penguin Decoration: Dollar Tree DIY Light Up Penguin with SVG!
Make an adorable winter penguin decoration on National Penguin Awareness Day. You can get most of these supplies at your local dollar store!
Unit Study Childrens Books About Penguins
Do a unit study about penguins on National Penguin Awareness Day with these educational children's books about penguins!
Penguin Handprint Craft (Free Printable)
It's National Penguin Awareness Day, and this free penguin handprint craft template will make a wonderful keepsake! This is such a lovely way to get messy with the kids while creating happy memories.
Penguin Handprint Craft
Waddle up for some winter crafting fun with this Penguin Handprint Craft for preschoolers! It's the perfect craft for young children on National Penguin Awareness Day.
Penguin Heart Craft for Kids
This penguin is easy to make and can be used with Valentine’s Day celebrations which are only a couple of weeks away from National Penguin Awareness Day, or as an extension activity to your penguin lessons on National Penguin Awareness Day.
Children’s Books About Penguins
Here are some of the best children’s books about penguins for you to read with your kids on National Penguin Awareness Day.
Nutter Butter Penguin Cookies
Make a fun no-bake winter treat that’ll really impress on National Penguin Awareness Day! These Nutter Butter Penguin Cookies are super cute and easy! They’re as fun to make as they are to eat! You’ll love the classic chocolate, peanut butter flavor combo, and the kids will love some time in the kitchen together!
10 Free Life Cycle of a Penguin Worksheets
These free life cycle of a penguin worksheets are a great way to learn while having fun on National Penguin Awareness Day.
These cute polar bear and penguin marshmallow pops are a cinch to make
These cute polar bear and penguin marshmallow pops are a cinch to make! A fun and easy winter treat on National Penguin Awareness Day.
CUTE Penguin Coloring Pages (10 FREE Printables!)
These free printable penguin coloring pages are simple enough for some younger kids but also detailed enough for older kids and adults. Coloring sheets are a great way to keep your kiddos busy on National Penguin Awareness Day!
Penguin Popsicle Stick Craft for Kids
This cute little penguin craft is great to make with the kids! Easy, inexpensive, and mess-free. They are perfect for National Penguin Awareness Day!
How to Make an Origami Penguin in Five Folds
Origami is a great way to pass the time in the cold days of January, and making a penguin with only five folds is a great activity for everyone on National Penguin Awareness Day.
An Unforgettable Evening With New Zealand’s Little Blue Penguins in Dunedin
Did you know that New Zealand is home to two species of penguin? National Penguin Awareness Day is the perfect day to learn more about them! The country is home to little blue penguins, the smallest species in existence, and yellow-eyed penguins, the rarest species in existence.
Make a Penguin Brownie Snack
This penguin brownie recipe is a natural fit for National Penguin Awareness Day! It’s a great way to get the kids cooking and learning all at the same time.
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