One of the art projects that I love to work on with my students each year is this penguin sponge art project. Each year they turn out just a little different from the year before. This year I gave my students square sponges and black and white paint. I showed them how to press down and lift to make squares. Some students did that and others used other techniques.
We had already studied a bit about penguins before starting this project and I gave my students a pile of penguin photos to look through before starting. You can find a printable set here of the different types of penguins. We did just the sponge painting part of the project on the first day and then added feet, eyes, and beaks the next class. I was especially impressed with the penguin family one student chose to create since he remembered he had created a family when it came time to choose how many eyes, beaks, and feet he needed to make even though we had some time off in between due to weather.
This year I gave students the choice of black or orange feet and beaks. Some went with what matched the penguin photo and some probably chose what the person next to them chose. To check out past penguin projects, see this post and this one.
You can also spy one of our polar bear crafts. This was made by painting with marshmallows in white paint. Some of them look quite a bit more like dogs than polar bears, so kids were quick to correct moms who admired their “dog.” This craft came from Mrs. Wills Kindergarten.
I used inexpensive sponges from the dollar store for the penguins, but the ones in the Amazon referral link above look like they might be fun to use since they seem to have a great texture to them. It could also just be because they are so bright and colorful that I am drawn to them.