Duck Pond Story Box

Here’s a fun little project that we made together last week that has provided plenty of imaginative play, singing and storytelling in our home. I have been waiting patiently to make our first Story Box together for the time when Cakie would be interested enough to play with it, and finally the time is right! 
We used to make these at school and one year the entire school (over 400 pupils) made one each for World Book Day, based on their favourite stories. They were so wonderful to look at and promoted a lot of conversations and excitement amongst the children. Our very first one is simple and toddler friendly!
First of all we made some ducks from salt dough. Salt dough is much like playdough but with a high content of salt and will harden to create a long lasting model if cooked in the oven. See our recipe in the Play dough and Salt dough tab at the top of the page.

 Both girls decorated them and little Pop is showing signs of being VERY interested in painting!

 Next I found a small cardboard box and C. painted the insides with….emulsion paint. Please don’t be horrified. It was low odour and I’ve found in the past it is great for covering cardboard with!

 She painted the bottom part and adjoining flap in a darker blue, squeezed over PVA runny glue and sprinkled a whole tub of blue glitter over the top.

 I found a “green picture” that she had done that I had filed away in the drawer and chopped it up to make grass and she stuck it around the back of the box.

We added layers of yellow tissue paper dipped in gold paint to make a sun.

 Everything needed plenty of time to dry! The next day (or so) we stuck on some googly eyes and the ducks were ready! The box was dry and ready to become a little stage set for singing and story telling.


We sang “5 Little Ducks Went Swimming One Day” (a lot), even though there are about 9 ducks, and she merrily had them swimming off all over the house and brought them back one by one at the end of the song 😉

 I bent a piece of thin cardboard to make a bridge (it stayed up by itself, not sure how!) and we have been retelling “The Billy Goats Gruff” using that too. We have little finger puppets for some fairy tale characters but not any billy goats, so she’s happily been using the ducks and shouting at them “WHO’S THAT TRIP TRAPPING OVER MY BRIDGE?!”

 And I’m just loving this photo I managed to snap of her flicking through a book about farm birds. Just before this she had lined up two of the duck models on the pictures to match them. Cute!

 Lining them up and counting (a favourite, unprompted activity.)

 Making them all go for a slide over the bridge as they go “over the hills and far away” in the song!

 And of course baby loves them too, as always :-)

This story box would be great for retelling all stories related to ponds/ rivers/ lakes/ streams. The Frog Prince, Duck in the Truck, The Gingerbread Man, The Wide Mouthed Frog, The Selfish Crocodile and MANY more. And of course it is great for singing 5 Little Speckled Frogs, 5 Little Ducks Went Swimming One Day, 12345 Once I Caught A Fish Alive and so many more. Add little toy animals, people, finger puppets and boats to make the story/ song scene come alive!

We are already working on box number 2 and I can’t wait to get it finished!

This activity is good for:
* oral storytelling
* sequencing the main elements of a story
* singing and learning songs by memory
* imaginative and creative development
* independent learning

Shibley Smiles


  1. says

    Oooh, I love this! We just got a box in the post and I saved it thinking it would be perfect for….what?? Now I know exactly what to do with it, thanks! (Now to get the girls to choose one favourite story….that could be the hardest part!)

  2. says

    Anna I love this. It has prompted me to do some salt dough duck with my daughter. She’s been looking at 5 little ducks at nursery but we don’t have enough toy ducks at home! Thanks!

  3. says

    Aaah I love it so much when my children play with our crafty stuff. So lovely to see and your photos show just that! Your ducks a FAB!! I love the googly eyes and the fab colours you used. All round a brilliant project! :-) And isn’t little Pop just too cute!

    Thanks as always for linking up!

    Maggy x

  4. says

    I just love these activities that are linked to story reading & telling. Another great idea for teachers! Many thanks for linking to the RC!