Every child knows the song about 5 little ducks who went swimming one day, well I used this song to create a maths activity using rocks for the ducks.

To make your little ducks you will need:

  • 6 stones
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Black Marker Pen


  1. Before painting your stones give them a wash to remove any dirt.
  2. Paint your stones, you will properly have to give the a few coats, but let them dry in between. – I did 5 of them yellow and 1 white (for the Mummy duck).
  3. Draw on the faces.
  4. On the little ducks write the numbers 1-5 somewhere that they can be seen.

I use this as a mini activity with my charges to help with number recognition. We sing the song together and then when one of the ducks doesn’t come back she has to find the correct number on the duck e.g. so if only 4 ducks come back then we have to find the one with number 5 on and hide him away. My youngest charge particularly likes this activity and quacks away at those naughty little ducks.

This activity may help development of:

  • Familiarisation of songs
  • Recognition of numbers 1-5
  • Understanding that a group of things changes in quantity when something is taken away.
  • Counting objects accurately

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