Summer Craft Boredom Buster: Make Mr. Popper’s Penguin Family

Have you seen the new hit movie, Mr. Popper’s Penguins? As often happens in Hollywood, the movie is quite different from the book, originally  published in 1938.  What the book and movie do share, however, is an irresistible parade of lively penguins.  If your kids are clamoring for their own tuxedo-clad companions, introduce them to our penguin family.  You’ll find they’re a whole lot easier to live with than their South Pole counterparts! Designer Kathleen George created Mr. Popper’s Penguin Family.

(We have more penguin tutorials on, and while several will definitely require help from an adult, we think you’ll find them pretty darn adorable.  We’ve featured three at the end of this post, and each photo links to the tutorial on

easy Mr. Popper's penguin craft for kids

Are you a penguin fan? Make Mr. Popper’s penguin family.

Here’s what you need to make Mr. Popper’s Penguin Family:

  • STYROFOAM Brand Foam: 3”, 2-1/2”, 2”and 1-1/2” balls
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Felt: scraps of black & yellow
  • Wiggle eyes: two each 15 mm; 10 mm; 9 mm; 8 mm
  • Tools needed: Plastic knife; candle stub or bar of soap; pencil; wooden skewer; stiff paintbrush; paper plate; paper towels; scissors; thick, white craft glue

To make your Mr. Popper’s Penguin Family:

(Note: The directions are the same for each size of penguin.)

1. Wax knife blade with the candle stub or bar of soap. Cut a thin slice from bottom of foam ball so it will sit flat. (Note: An adult should carefully supervise this step.)

Kid's penguin craft: Mr. Popper's Penguin Family

Draw a circle on the belly and leave it white.

2. Lightly draw a circle on the “tummy” area of the ball with a pencil. Push wooden skewer into the circle. Using the skewer as your handle, paint the ball black, except for the circle. Push skewer into a scrap of STYROFOAM Brand Foam to hold it while paint dries.

3. Download patterns and cut out. Cut wing and tail patterns from black felt. Cut beak and feet from yellow felt.

4. Fold beak in half and glue sides together along the fold; let dry.

5. Glue beak and wiggle eyes to the face.

6. Match the largest patterns to the largest ball, smallest patterns to the smallest ball, etc. Referring to the photo, glue wings and feet to the body. Glue tail to the bottom back of the penguin, positioning it to help the penguin stand.

For more penguin fun, check out these critters from designer Debra Quartermain.  Just click on the photo to go to the step-by-step tutorial on

how to make cute fleece penguin craft

Fishing Penguins by Debra Quartermain appeared on the cover of a popular craft magazine!

DIY cute skiing penguin craft with fleece and Styrofoam

Skiing Penguin by Debra Quartermain glides along on snowflake skis.

craft a penguin family on a sled

Yee haw! Look closely – one little penguin can’t bare to watch! Sledding Penguins by Debra Quartermain.

Have you seen the movie Mr. Popper’s Penguins?  Did you enjoy it?  Leave a comment and share your movie review with us.

P.S. A quick announcement that Angie, who blogs at The Country Chic Cottage, won our Solar System kit!  Congratulations, Angie!  And if you didn’t win this week, we’ll announce another Summer Craft Boredom Buster giveaway next week.  Good luck!

Happy crafting!


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6 Responses to Summer Craft Boredom Buster: Make Mr. Popper’s Penguin Family

  1. Pingback: 25 Penguin Projects for Kids – About Family Crafts

  2. Pingback: Penguin Family inspired by the Movies | Copycat Crafts

  3. Hi Sharon! Just wanted to let you know that I featured this on FamilyCorner today!

  4. I will have to show this to my kids. We didn’t see the movie but Sarah just read the book. She’s had it for a while and with all the hype about the movie she finally decided to read it!
    They are all adorable but I love the simplicity of Kathleen’s design best!

  5. Who can resist a penguin? I have always loved designing the little guys! Kathleen’s family is too cute!!!

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