How to Make a Model of a Penguin

A penguin is a classic part of the Arctic environment.
A penguin is a classic part of the Arctic environment. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

The animals and ecosystems of the Arctic are both fun and important to learn about, but it's unlikely that most children would be able to go to the chilly climates penguins call home. Instead, you can model the black and white creatures you might see on a typical icy day in the much warmer climate of your home or classroom, using a few basic supplies.

Things You'll Need

  • Half-gallon plastic milk carton, empty with cap
  • Black spray foam
  • 2 pieces cardboard, 3 inches wide by 7 inches long
  • Black permanent marker
  • Scissors
  • Liquid super glue
  • 2 oranges
  • Sharp knife
  • Chopping board
  • Black spray paint
  • White spray paint
  • Coconut flakes (optional)

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Set the empty milk carton on a flat surface, such as a table, with the handle facing toward you. Fill in the area between the handle and the rest of the carton using the black spray foam. Also fill in the indents on either side of the handle so the carton resembles a solid rectangle with one slightly curved side.

Draw the shape of the penguin's wing on each of the pieces of cardboard using the black permanent marker. The wings should be at least six inches long and three inches wide and should resemble a rectangle that's rounded on one end.

Cut the wing shapes out from the cardboard pieces. Fold the flat edge of each wing back under itself about one-quarter inch to form a quarter-inch high flap. Apply the liquid super glue to this flap on each wing.

Attach one wing by pressing the superglued flap against a side of the milk carton. Repeat this action with the other wing on the other side of the penguin body. Hold each until the glue sets.

Apply liquid super glue to the bottom of one of the oranges and the top of the cap on the milk carton. Set the orange on top of the cap and hold it in place to form the penguin's head.

Cut the other orange into eight slices using the sharp knife on the chopping board. Strip out the orange fruit from each slice, leaving only the peels.

Attach three of the orange peels to the bottom of the milk carton near its front left corner. Splay them about quarter inch apart to form the penguin's left foot. Repeat this action with three more orange peels on the bottom right-front side of the penguin to form its right foot.

Take the two remaining orange peels and glue them to the sides of the orange attached to the top of the milk carton. Bring the ends of the peels that aren't attached to the orange toward each other and attach them to form the penguin's beak. Allow the glue to set on all parts of the penguin for one hour.

Spray paint the penguin body in the colors of a penguin, with a white front belly, black back and wings, and black head. Avoid getting spray paint on the feet or beak of the penguin, which are supposed to be orange.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can add an arctic effects to your penguin by drizzling glue on its back and wings and then sprinkling coconut flakes on it to resemble snowflakes.
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