4 FUN Five Little Ducks Math Activities Kids Will Love!

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Get preschoolers counting & recognising shapes with our selection of Five Little Ducks math activities!

Use our Five Little Ducks math activities to support counting to & back from 5 & begin to recognise simple shapes with our cute duck jigsaw puzzle!

1. Five Little Ducks Math Activities: Duck Counting to 5

Five Little Ducks maths activities - counting strips

What You Need:

Adult Prep:

1) Print out our Five Little Ducks Counting Strips

2) Cut out each of the duck strips & numbers

3) Optional – glue the counting strips to the card and/or laminate to make them more robust

How to Play:

five little ducks maths activities - counting strip, number 5 & 5 rubber ducks

Show your child the counting strips & remind them that there are five ducks in the rhyme. There are lots of ways you can use these. You could:

  • Count to 5: Count the ducks on each strip with your child. Start at 1 and build up to 5
  • Give the right number of objects from a collection: Hold up a number strip and ask your child to give you the matching number of ducks. For example, if you have the 1 duck strip you would ask “Please give me 1 duck”. Then get them to put the duck onto the strip. Repeat this with the other number cards as and when your child is ready
  • Count back from 5: Sing the Five Little Ducks Rhyme holding up the number strips as an aid to help your child visualise how the rhyme counts down from 5

*You don’t need to do all of these activities at once! Just make it a fun way of exposing your little one to counting & numbers. My children spent as much time throwing the ducks as they did counting them!

Make It Easier:

Is your child too young for this activity? Try these ideas:

  • Start to give your child the idea of 1 compared to ‘lots of’. For example, with the toy ducks place 1 duck in front of them. Then put ‘lots of’ ducks (e.g. 4 ducks) as a comparison

Make It Harder:

Is your child ready to extend their counting skills? Are they secure in counting to 5 & 1:1 correspondence (i.e. understanding the value of each number, not just counting by rote)? Try these ideas:

  • Help your child to match the written numbers to the correct amount of ducks. You could stick the numbers onto the duck counting strips
  • Challenge them to put the numbered strips in order – smallest to largest & then largest to smallest

2. Five Little Ducks Math Activities: Duck Pond Counting

five little ducks maths activities

What You Need:

Adult Prep:

five little ducks maths activities - rubber ducks with a number spinner

1) Set up your ‘pond’ – we created a tuff tray scene

2) Print & cut out our Five Little Ducks Picture Spinner

3) Make a hole in the centre of the spinner & push a pencil through

How to Play:

five little ducks maths activities - 5 rubber ducks

Encourage your child to spin the spinner &, whatever number it lands on, help them to count out how many ducks they will need. Ask them to put the corresponding number of rubber ducks in the “pond”!

Make It Easier:

Is your child too young for this activity? Try these ideas:

  • Just let them play with 5 ducks in whichever scenario you choose! You can talk about how many ducks there are & even add in some foam or plastic numbers up to 5

Make It Harder:

Is your child ready to extend their counting skills? Try these ideas:

  • Complete the same activity as above, but try using our other Five Little Ducks Numbers Spinner. This spinner does not have the pictures of ducks, meaning your child needs to recognise the written form of the numbers

3. Five Little Ducks Math Activities: Hopscotch

five little ducks maths activities

What You Need:

Adult Prep:

1) Print & then cut out our Five Little Ducks Numbered Footprints

2) Tape the footprints in number order on the floor

How to Play:

Walk slowly over the duck feet with your child, counting as they step on each new foot. Add to the fun by asking them to step on the webbed feet in different ways, for example, jumping or hopping. Support them counting as they go!

five little ducks maths activities

Make It Easier:

Is your child too young for this activity? Try these ideas:

  • Don’t worry about your child counting or seeing the numbers. Instead, use the activity to focus on their gross motor skills (e.g. crawling, walking, jumping to each foot). You can still say the numbers as they go!

Make It Harder:

Is your child ready to extend their counting skills? Try these ideas:

  • Scatter the duck feet & get your child to jump on them in the correct number order. Extend even further by doing this in reverse order from 5 to 1

4. Five Little Ducks Math Activities: Shape Puzzle

five little ducks maths activities

What You Need:

Adult Prep:

1) Print & cut out the shapes found on the Five Little Ducks Shapes & Colours Puzzle sheet.

2) Print out (or show on a screen) our Completed Puzzle Duck for children to follow

2) Layout the pieces on a flat surface ready to play

How to Play:

With your child, help put the duck puzzle together! Talk about the colours and shape names as you complete the activity.

duck jigsaw puzzle

Make It Easier:

Is your child too young to start learning shape names? Try these ideas:

  • You complete the puzzle for your child but ask your child for the shapes. For example, “Please give me the yellow circle”

Make It Harder:

Is your child ready to extend their shape knowledge? Try these ideas

  • Don’t show your child the picture of the completed duck, but let them play with the shapes and see what they create

WHAT ARE YOU HELPING YOUR LITTLE ONE TO DO?

1. Begin to recognise numbers & know their number names
2. Use number words & language about counting e.g. none & zero
3. Recite (some) number names in sequence
4. Develop cardinality skills i.e. saying how many items there are altogether
5. Select a small number of objects from a group when asked e.g. can count & find 5 ducks
6. Develop curiosity about numbers by offering comments or asking questions
7. Begin to understand relative number size e.g. comparing numbers
8. Develop spatial awareness & hand-eye co-ordination skills i.e. co-ordinate what the eye sees with what the hands do with what the brain interprets
9. Begin to recognise 2D shapes & know their shape names e.g. circle, square etc.
10. Develop reasoning & decision-making skills i.e. deciding which piece of the puzzle to put where & choosing which piece to try next
11. Develop self-confidence & perseverance e.g. seeing the successfully finished puzzle

Find more Five Little Ducks activities here!

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