Five Little Ducks Storytelling Water Play

Combine the classic song Five Little Ducks with some exciting water play in a sensory tub as a fun way to enjoy numbers, counting, singing and story-telling!

 The girls all loved this story-telling activity as it combined two of their favourite things, singing and water play! This song is a great one for counting up and back down again from 1 to 5, subtracting one duck during each verse until there are none left. Using story and singing props is so helpful for little children as it allows a very tactile, kinaesthetic way to act out and physically move the objects while doing so.
I filled a plastic sensory tub half full with warm water and mixed in a small amount of blue gel food colouring. We added a large Mother duck and 5 little babies, one of which was purple (why not?!)

I placed this next to the window so that we could use it as a backdrop to set the scene, then cut shapes from craft foam and stuck them to the window using water. (You can read all about foam window fun and learning in this pervious post!) I added a sun, some clouds, hills and numbers from 1-5.

They didn’t need any introduction and immediately started singing the song and splashing the ducks around in their pond. In case you are not familiar with the words, this is how it goes. The song is repeated with one less duck each time, until when all the ducks have swum away the last words are “Mother duck said Quack, Quack, Quack, Quack, and all her 5 little ducks came back.”

I didn’t mention anything about the window foam stickers, but Cakie chose to remove one number each time a verse was sung, and hid it out of sight until all the numbers and ducks had disappeared. Between them they took one duck out of the water each time too, and only Mother duck was left ready to call them all back again!

When Baby Bean woke up she was drawn like a magnet to the tub and just loved shoving her arms in, grabbing at the ducks and splashing around. In fact, she loved it so much she climbed right in and stood  with the ducks feeling extremely pleased with herself!

We have lots of favourite songs and nursery rhyme play activities coming up on the blog soon, so check back often or sign up for email updates to see all the posts!

What they are learning as they play:
creativity: imaginative play ands storytelling using puppets/ story props
literacy: retelling favourite songs and stories from memory, using storybook language
maths: counting up to 5 objects reliably using 1:1 correspondence, counting forwards and backwards, subtracting small numbers and objects, recognising numerals to 5, singing familiar number rhymes and songs by memory

Cakie: 4.5
Pop: 2.11
Bean: 12 mos

More singing ideas!
5 Little Ducks Story Box
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Singing Sheets
Incy Wincy/ Itsy Bitsy Spider Activities

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17 comments to Five Little Ducks Storytelling Water Play

  • Combining song, water and visual aids is such a great idea. Something for everyone and a great way for Mum to get involved too. Love it.

    Cute backdrop too.

  • So cute! My son has just started singing songs that I sing to him all the time. I bet he’d love actually acting him out and I think it’s so clever to practice learning numbers.

  • What fun! I love how you tied the song into the activity.

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  • [...] “Five Little Ducks Storytelling Water Play” from The Imagination Tree - Anna’s water play activity links sensory play, retelling, song, and rhyming in one fun package!  This activity could be restructured for a variety of other simple rhymes that children enjoy. [...]