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Crafty kids: Antarctic art

This clothespin penguin is the perfect craft for a chilly-willy day.

IF YOU HAVE SEEN the popular 2005 documentary "March of the Penguins," you are aware of the harsh conditions under which emperor penguins survive.

The largest of the 17 species of penguins - they can grow up to 45 inches in height - emperors spend their entire lives in the Antarctic in the harshest winter weather you can imagine.

(If you think Philly's winters are cold, consider this: The center of Antarctica can be -112 degrees Fahrenheit or colder in wintertime.)

The majestic birds fight the cold by gathering together in large groups and taking turns moving from the inside of the large clump of birds where it's warm, to the outside where they face the full force of blinding winter wind and ice storms.

I made this cute penguin craft using directions supplied by Karen Corvington of Pat Catan's Craft Centers.

Supplies you will need

* 1 jumbo clothespin, available from a craft store

* Acrylic paint in black, white, orange and red

* Red felt scraps

* 1-inch-wide sponge brush and a fine paintbrush for details

* Thick, white glue

* Ribbon

* Ruler

* Pencil

How to make it

Cut a 4-inch-by-6-inch rectangle of red felt. Turn one of the long edges up about a half-inch and wrap the felt around the top of the closed end of the clothespin. Glue the short ends of the felt together to make a tube.

Use a pencil to draw half an oval above the metal bar on one of the wide sides of the clothespin. Use a ruler to draw lines from the end of the oval on both sides down to the corners of the bottom of the clothespin. The lines should taper a bit, from about an eighth of an inch at the bottom to about one-quarter inch at the top.

Paint inside the oval and the edge lines with white paint and set aside to dry. When the white paint is dry, carefully paint the rest of the clothespin black.

For the scarf, cut a strip of felt about 10 inches long and a half-inch wide. Cut fringe on each end of the strip. Set aside.

Wrap a piece of ribbon around the stocking cap about a half-inch under the top of the felt.

Dip the rounded end of the paintbrush into black paint and dab it on the white face for eyes. Add a small orange beak. Paint two small, red bumps on the bottom of the clothespin for feet.

Wrap the scarf under the face. Place the hat on top of the penguin's head.