From here to Antarctica, penguins capture the hearts of many. With their irresistible waddle to formal attire, they are undoubtedly entertaining to observe and explore. There are 18 species of penguins, each with its own unique habitat.

This winter, grab your budding zoologist and create your own little penguins with this simple, non-toxic dough. With an assist from Learning Resources’ Penguins on Ice, you can make your own little iceberg right in your kitchen.

Group of penguins

For this cute penguin craft, you will need:

  • Room temperature butter
  • Light corn syrup
  • Powdered sugar
  • Salt
  • Food coloring of your choice

Feel free to add in sprinkles for the eyes or their cold-weather accessories.

To make the dough, roll out some wax paper on a flat surface. Add one teaspoon of butter to a bowl. This is no time to substitute – you will need the fat from the butter to make the dough come together. Margarine will not work.


Next, add one tablespoon of light corn syrup. Not only will the corn syrup provide moisture, but it will also prevent the crystallization of the powdered sugar you will add in a few steps.

Light corn syrup

Add 1/8 teaspoon of salt.

Salt in a bowl

Using a fork, mash the salt, corn syrup, and butter all together.

Mixed ingredients

Measure out a cup of powdered sugar. Carefully add the sugar to the mixture, spoonful by spoonful, mixing it the entire time you go.

Dough forming

Grab the dough out of the bowl and begin to knead it with your hands. Form it into a ball.

Dough ball

Separate the dough into two parts. One part will remain white while the other will get the food coloring treatment.

Two dough balls

Separate one of the halves again. You can use any food coloring you like for the flippers and head. Black or blue works perfectly. Then choose any color for the penguins’ accessories. Red was used here.

Two dough balls with food coloring

A drop of food coloring will go a long way with this dough. Work it through. Once you’ve completed one color, make sure you wash your hands for the next color!

Food coloring mixed with the dough ball

Squeeze a little dough off to make a beak with some orange food coloring. No orange? What two colors should you combine to make the shade?

Using the white dough, roll it into a ball for the penguin’s body. Then roll the black or blue dough into a smaller shape for its head.

Body of penguin forming

Black and white dough ball

Fashion some flippers, a beak, and perhaps use sprinkles for the penguin’s eyes.

Penguin formed with dough ball

This dough can get soft fast, so after we created our little black and white friends, we stuck them in the refrigerator. The kids figured the penguins felt pretty at home in the cold!

All this penguin talk made them want to break out Penguins on Ice, one of their favorite math games from Learning Resources.

LR Product: Penguins on Ice

This cool game helps the kids understand math patterns and sorting. There are little icebergs that the penguins stand on, which can form grids in groups of ten.

Penguins on Ice penguins pieces

The kids challenge each other by lining up the penguins in order. Taking away penguins or add them to reinforces basic math skills. Hours of fun!

Penguin pieces up close

Happy winter! Stay warm!

Dough Penguins

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Penguins on Ice Pinterest