New Victory Blog

The New Victory Blog is a place to learn more about New York's theater for families and the shows we produce. Find out what we do and what we're passionate about—exploring the arts as a family.
October 4, 2016

Family Activity: Mr. Popper's Penguins

Play with penguins, create your own family theme song and learn a little bit about vaudeville in this Family Activity! For each show in the season, we will post a new Family Activity. You can find all of our past Family Activities (and more!) at

Habitat In Your Home

When the penguins are delivered to Mr. and Mrs. Popper, they keep them in their freezer to stay cold. If an animal from the zoo were delivered to your home, where would you keep it?

Materials: Crayons, printable template, scissors

Step One: Print out this template and color the animals. When you're done coloring your animals, cut them out.
Step Two: A habitat is the home of an animal or a plant. As a family, have a conversation about the habitats for each animal on the coloring sheet and describe their habitats. For example, most penguins live in a cold habitat with snow and ice.

Step Three: Decide where you are going to keep the animals in your home.

HINT: Maybe the horse should be kept where it has plenty of room to run, or the octopus could be kept somewhere damp where it can be reminded of the ocean. 

Cut out your colored animal and place it in its habitat in your home. Snap a picture, post it on Instagram and tag @NewVictoryTheater with #PoppersPenguins! 

Penguin Party

We're going to guess that your favorite characters in the show will be the PENGUINS! We invite you to create a Penguin Party inspired by the show.

Host a Penguin Party and invite your family—challenge them to only wear black, white and orange. 

Do these activities with your family! 
  • Watch penguins live at the Kansas City Zoo!
  • Learn more about penguins from the Central Park Zoo.
  • Read the book our musical is based on, Mr. Poppers Penguins.  
  • Create your own igloos using sugar cubes.
  • Have a penguin dance party.
  • Play pin the beak on the penguin! 
Serve penguin inspired food like: 
  • Goldfish crackers
  • Sandwiches cut into the shape of fish
  • Blue Jello
  • If you're feeling as adventurous as Admiral Drake, try these

Black Olive Penguins

Mr. or Mrs. (Insert Name) (Insert Show)

When the Poppers were sent penguins, they got inventive and created a vaudeville show! What kind of acts would be in your family show? 

Materials: Piece of paper, crayons or markers

Step One: Mr. and Mrs. Popper featured penguins in their show. As a family, decide what kind of animal you would feature in your show.

HINT: You could pick an animal that has the same first letter as your last name. 

Step Two: Using a piece of paper and crayons or markers make a poster for your show. Look below for some inspiration and a template you can use as a guide!
Houdini's Show Poster A Circus Show Poster A Coney Island Show Poster

Show Poster Example

FUN FACT: In the early 1900s, The New Victory Theater was called The Theatre Republic. The theater had a garden on the roof where entertainers would perform vaudeville acts. Rumor has it that Houdini performed on the roof! Learn more here.

Step Three: Now it's time to make up a theme song! First, listen to the Mr. Popper's Penguins theme song.

Sing along with the lyrics listed below:
Wherever you go, you'll not see a show like
Mr. Popper's Penguins
We know they'll capture your heart.
Sensations overnight,
Right here in black and white,
Mr. Popper's Penguins are poles apart!
Step Three: Now it's time to write your own lyrics using this lyric template.
Wherever you go, you'll not see a show like
(Show name)
We know they'll (What do your animals do?)
Sensations overnight,
Right here in (What colors are your animals?)
(Show name) are (How amazing is your show?)
Step Five: Sing along with the song!

BONUS: Go to the Bronx Zoo or the Central Park Zoo and sing your theme song to the animal that is being featured in your song. Don't forget to make a visit to the penguins as well!

Family Activities

We invite you to share a giggle, try some new moves and deepen your understanding of the performing arts with our Public Engagement Activites, Arts Express, TXT Marks the Spot and Talk-Backs!
Twitter   How did your party and your song turn out?
Share a photo of them with us on Instagram or Twitter, #TwentyThousandLeagues.
Facebook   What kind of habitat did you make?
Like us on Facebook and tell us what you thought up!
Posted by Beth Henderson
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