Penguin Facts for Kids

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Penguin

Join Albert as he explores amazing penguin facts for toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners. Click on the images to hear silly sounds and then read about fun penguin facts like what do penguins look like?, what sound do penguins make?, how big are penguins?, what do penguins eat?, where do penguins live?, and more fun facts about penguins for kids!

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What do penguins look like?

Penguin

Penguins are birds. Birds are animals that have feathers, wings and beaks. They lay eggs which the babies hatch from.

Penguins can’t fly, but they still have 2 wings and are covered in feathers. Most penguins are black and white. 

There are lots of different types of penguins. Some live in very cold places with lots of snow and ice but other penguins live in very hot places like Africa.

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What sound do penguins make?

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Microphone

Click the the image to hear the sound!

Penguins make different sounds depending on the species or type of penguin. Some make a deep, honking sound while others make a high-pitched squawk.

They also coo, bark and grunt at each other.

Some sounds are used to defend their territories and tell other penguins and other animals to go away. Some sounds are used to communicate with each other and to attract a mate.

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How big are penguins?

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Alberts height

Some penguins are very small and would probably only come up to your knees. Others are really tall, probably taller than you!

Emperor penguins are the tallest penguins. Emperor means “king” or “ruler” and its easy to see how these huge penguins got their name. They can be 40 inches (1 meter) tall. They can weigh up to 99 pounds or 45 kilograms.

Fairy penguins, also called Little penguins, are the smallest penguins in the world. They only grow to a maximum height of 12 inches (30 centimeters). They weigh just over 3 pounds (1.5 kilograms). 

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What do penguins eat?

Blue fish
Cartoon jellyfish
Cartoon krill
Cartoon school of fish

Fish! Penguins love to eat fish. Anchovies, herring and sardines are particular favorites for some penguins. They also eat squid and crustaceans like krill and shrimp.

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Where do penguins live?

Polar background
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Penguins live in and around the sea. Although they can’t fly, they are very good swimmers. They use their wings like flippers when swimming. 

Some penguins, like the huge Emperor penguins, live in the Antarctic where there is lots of snow and ice and it’s very cold.

Other penguins live in warmer places, like the African penguin. This penguin lives on the beaches and in the seas near South Africa.

More fun facts about penguins for kids

  • Penguins that live on ice and snow like to go sledding (or tobogganing)! They lie down on their bellies and glide along the snow. It is a lot faster than waddling.
  • Penguins hold their breath for a very long time while they are swimming underwater. Emperor penguins can hold their breath for 27 minutes, that’s almost half an hour!
  • Some penguins have very funny hair styles! Try to find a picture of a Macaroni penguin and a Southern Rockhopper penguin.
  • The fastest penguin in the world is the Gentoo penguin. It can swim up to 22 mph (36 kph). That is over 5 times faster than an Olympic swimmer! Ready, set go!
  • Penguins have built-in “goggles” to help them see underwater. They have a membrane, or see-through piece of skin, that covers their eyes when they are swimming.
  • Penguins drink freshwater but they drink a lot of saltwater by accident while catching fish. Drinking saltwater is vary bad for you, so they have a special salt filter near their eyes. This removes the salt.
  • You often see penguins preening themselves. This means they smooth down their feathers with their beaks. What the penguins are doing is spreading special oil over their feathers. This helps the keep them waterproof when they go into the water. It also makes them faster when swimming!

Sources: Wikipedia, Live Science, Creative Commons, Britannica.com and Freesound.org

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Alphabetical list of animals that start with P

A full alphabetical list of popular animal names that begin with the letter P for toddlers and preschool kids.

  1. Panda
  2. Panther
  3. Parakeet
  4. Parrot
  5. Partridge
  6. Peacock
  7. Peccary
  8. Pelican
  9. Penguin
  10. Pheasant
  11. Pig
  12. Pigeon
  13. Pika
  14. Pike
  15. Piranha
  16. Platypus
  17. Poison Dart Frog
  18. Polar Bear
  19. Polecat
  20. Porcupine
  21. Prairie Dog
  22. Prawn
  23. Praying Mantis
  24. Proboscis Monkey
  25. Puff Adder
  26. Puffer Fish
  27. Puffin
  28. Puma
  29. Python

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