Tag Archives: ducks

Fun with Toddlers: Duck Theme

duckEach spring in our classroom, we have a spring theme with rain, raindrops and flowers, and on week 3 of the theme, the ducks appear! There are tons of great picture books about ducks, so in this post, I include lots of book recommendations and ideas for activities to accompany those books.

Songs to Sing

Five Little Ducks Went Out One Day
http://tmas.kcls.org/five-little-ducks-went-out-one-day/

Five Little Ducks went out one day, over the hills and far away.
Mother Duck said, “Quack, Quack, Quack,” but only four little ducks came back.
Four little ducks went out one day… …but only three little ducks came back.
(Repeat counting down to “but no little ducks came back.”)
Sad mother duck went out one day, over the hills and far away
Mother Duck said, “Quack, Quack, Quack.” Five little ducks came running back.

Six Little Ducks that I Once Knew http://tmas.kcls.org/six-little-ducks/

Six little ducks that I once knew, Fat ones, skinny ones, fair ones too!
But the one little duck with the feather on her back,
She led the others with a quack quack quack.
Quack quack quack. Quack quack quack. She led the others with a quack quack quack.

Down to the river they would go, A wibble wobble, wibble wobble, to and fro.
But the one little duck with the feather on her back,
She led the others with a quack quack quack.
Quack quack quack. Quack quack quack. She led the others with a quack quack quack.

Duck Picture Books and Activities they Inspire

Five Little Ducks by Raffi. The words from the song (above) in a book with illustrations. And 10 Rubber Duckies by William Winburn. These are both countdown songs/stories, and they have a really great rhyme and rhythm – easy for kids to predict what will happen next and easy to memorize!

  • Sing the song, and act it out with rubber ducks or handmade puppets. These are great for learning to subtract and learning about zero.
  • You may also use foam numbers – put 5 numbers on the table (or on the wall of the tub). As each duck disappears, take away a number to see how many are left.

One Duck Stuck by Phyllis Root. (Be sure to get the full version, not the board book – it’s abridged, and you miss some of the great language.) Fabulous rhyming, rhythmic words. And a counting book. And lots of fun marshland creatures.

  • Dramatic play: make masks or finger puppets of the animals in the book. One child pretends to be the duck and says “Help, Help, who Can Help.” Other kids (or the parent if you’re playing this one-on-one at home) come to the rescue.
  • Sensory play in muddy muck: give child a bag of dirt (or collect dirt from yard). Spend time exploring the dirt, describing it, looking at it through a magnifying glass. Add a little water. Explore some more. Then add more water till you’ve got gooey mud. Get a toy duck stuck.
  • Find photos of real ducks, real marshes, and real marsh-land creatures.

10 Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle. Based on a real-life story of a shipping carton of rubber ducks that fell into the ocean. Ten ducks float off in separate directions and encounter a variety of sea life.

  • Art: Make 10 paper ducks. Label 1 – 10. Your child glues them to a blue paper ocean
  • Numbers: Collect 10 rubber ducks, or use paper ducks. Child rolls dice, counts the dots, puts that many ducks in the tub to show “how many fell into the ocean?”
  • Talk about ordinal numbers and directions: the first duck swam north, the second duck swam south, and so on. Play a game where your child goes in the direction you say: “the little duck swam left, the little duck swam right, the little duck went up the stairs.”

Have You Seen My Duckling? by Nancy Tafuri. A mother searches for her baby.

Little Quack by Lauren Thompson. A book about a duckling who overcomes his fear and learns to swim. It would be a great read in the weeks before starting swimming lessons!

Even more great picture books about ducks: https://homeschool.rebeccareid.com/duck-picture-books/ 

More ideas (and source citations) at: www.pinterest.com/bcparented

photo credit: shot_1305563005476 via photopin (license)

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Cheap Dates with Toddlers – Wildlife Viewing

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Spring is a great time to explore wetlands parks* and see what kind of wildlife you can spot. Ducklings are a pretty likely bet at most wetlands! Often wetlands parks have boardwalks, where you’ll have to hike out a ways to see the wildlife.

Hikes are great activities with toddlers, because they burn off energy but in a lot lower-key, non-overstimulating way compared to a trip to a McDonald’s playground! (Now, I’m not knocking McDonald’s playgrounds here – they’re absolutely a place we head on a cold, rainy day when we’ve got to get out a little energy before story time at the library.)

You can sing songs or do nursery rhymes as you walk. You can talk about the things around you – the plants, the people, the animals…

Today, we went to Juanita Bay Park in Kirkland, WA. I’d never been there before – it looks small from the road, but then you get in and it’s a huge park with lots of trails and board walks. We saw a mama duck with 7 ducklings, lots of other ducks, red-wing blackbirds, and lots of turtles sunning themselves on logs. And we checked out some ant hills on our way back to the parking lot.

One of the challenges of nature hikes is that sometimes the thing you want to see is a long ways away, or camouflaged. I think this offers great practice for toddlers in observation skills. When they look out at this sea of lily pads, can they spot the mama duck? How about the babies? It’s also good for listening to directional information: like when I was pointing out a squirrel, and said “look way over there, in the tree with the white blossoms on it. Do you see the tree? There are two branches on the right side – the squirrel is on the top branch”, there’s a lot of vocabulary and concepts that go into understanding those directions.

For more ideas for nature activities with your child, click here.

 

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* If you’re thinking there are no wetlands near you, I’ll tell you that today I looked at a map on a sign at the park, and it showed wetlands in every single state – I grew up in Wyoming, and the map showed wetlands in the northeast quadrant – now I’m curious where they are!