My latest theme is a great one for spring, whether you want to focus on farm animals, ducks as a variety of birds, or the classic book Make Way for Ducklings. Today, I’m sharing duckling activities and free duckling printables, including our new Montessori-inspired duckling pack (subscriber freebie)!
In addition to our new duckling pack, I have a special instant download from The Montessori Company with a sweet, hand-painted duckling culture card!
The links are for free nest printables for preschoolers through 1st graders. To keep my list manageable, I don’t share coloring pages unless a page has a specific educational purpose related to ducklings. If you’re looking for farm animals in general, check out my post with free farm printables.
At PreK + K Sharing, I have lots and lots of themed activities and presentation ideas.
Free Printables + Materials Used in the Pictured Duckling Activities for Preschoolers-First Graders
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you).
Montessori Shelves with Duckling-Themed Activities
My shelves with duckling-themed activities include a free duckling culture card designed by The Montessori Company. You’ll also find Montessori-inspired duckling numbers, letters, and and more (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber)
I always have related books available throughout a unit. On my top shelf, I have Ducks and Their Ducklings, Duckling Duckling (Update: no longer available at an inexpensive price), Just Ducks! and Duckling Days. These books are all Montessori friendly. Most of these don’t have a lot of words and are perfect for young preschoolers and beginning readers. Just Ducks! is Montessori-friendly fiction with facts about ducks interspersed with the story. I have some more duckling books in my book baskets, including the classic Caldecott Medal book Make Way for Ducklings (not a Montessori-style book, but it’s an awesome book!).
I also have a fabulous yellow duck nesting doll set! My 4-year-old granddaughter, Zoey, was so excited to see the baby duck (which is super small, since there are 10 nesting ducks in this set. Zoey could do it easily, but she’s in love with the tiny duckling. Of course, this set isn’t designed for toddlers.
You could mix your duckling-themed activities among your shelves according to curriculum area. Or you could have a special duckling-themed area something like the one pictured. My shelves this month have a mixture of skill levels. Many of the activities can be adapted for a variety of levels. If you’re a homeschooler, just choose the activities that work for your child’s interests and ability levels. If you don’t have room for all the activities you’d like to do, simply rotate them.
Duckling Culture Card and Ducks and Their Ducklings Book
I’m happy to share with you this sweet hand-painted duckling culture card from The Montessori Company. You can use it on your shelves to introduce a duckling or bird unit. I’m hosting the free printable as an instant download at Living Montessori Now. You can always access the free duckling culture card here.
The description says: “Ducklings are baby ducks and can often be seen following the mother duck in a line. They live in and around fresh water.”
Matching Montessori Color Box 3 Shades of Color to a Duckling Photo
Free Printable: mallard duckling from Pixabay
For this activity, I added some color tablets from the Montessori Color Box 3 that were some of the shades of colors found in the photo. You could just give Color Box 3 (or color box 3 printables) to the child for color matching, although adding the color tablets is an easier activity. It still requires the child to find the exact match in the photo.
For younger children, just give the colors from Color Box 2 that are found in the photo. Even if they don’t match exactly, they’ll still be the same basic color. You can use printables instead of actual color tablets.
Duckling Shapes and Metal Inset Matching
Free Printable: Duckling Matching Printables from Spark and Pook
I used a Multicraft tray to hold the printables along with metal insets that match the cards. The printable includes 6 of the 10 metal inset shapes. I actually have plastic insets instead of metal insets. I like them for home use because they can be stored in one basket.
You could have one set of duckling cards printed on white and one on yellow. I printed mine on the same color of cardstock and used a 1/4″ label dot on the back. I used one color of dots for one set and another color of dots for the other set.
You could just have your child match the printable cards without metal insets, or you could make your own geometric shapes in place of the metal insets.
Letter D Object Basket with Mystery Bag and Blindfold
Free Printables: Duckling Letters for Letter D Object Basket (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber)
As you can see on my shelves, I used a Montessori mystery bag and blindfold for the letter d basket. I got the basket, mystery bag, and blindfold from Montessori Services, and I used a variety of small objects that beginning with the /d/ sound. If you’d like ideas for teaching phonics, check out my DIY Beginning Montessori Phonics post.
Duckling Salt Writing Tray with Fonts for Letter D
Free Printables: Duckling Letters for duckling writing tray (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber)
For the salt writing tray, I used the wooden tray from the Melissa & Doug Lace and Trace Shapes. You can use whatever tray or container work best for you, though. I simply colored salt by putting some Wilton gel food coloring in a plastic bag with the salt and shaking it until it was mixed thoroughly. It’s actually the salt from my bee-themed writing tray. (I reuse many of my materials for other units.)
Duckling Movable Alphabet to Go with the Book Make Way for Ducklings
Free Printables: Duckling Movable Alphabet (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber). Notice that there are 8 mallard ducklings … just same type and number of ducklings as in Make Way for Ducklings!
I have a traditional small wooden movable alphabet, so I used that box to lay the letters out in alphabetical order. I had printed out 2 copies of the duckling movable alphabet. Then Zoey and I matched the movable alphabet letters with all the duckling movable alphabet letters. If you don’t have a traditional wooden alphabet, you can have a stack of my printable cards already in alphabetical order. Lay them out in order and then have your child match them.
First I read Make Way for Ducklings to Zoey, and then we worked together to spell pond and duck. Later, we turned “duck” into “duckling.” This is a great literature-based activity for kids working on spelling and reading.
Five Little Ducks Finger Puppets and Book
Free Printable: Five Little Ducks Printable Puppets from Picklebums
The Raffi Songs to Read are lots of fun! The Five Little Ducks book goes perfectly with the printable puppets. I just taped regular-size craft sticks to them. Like I often do, I placed everything on a Multicraft tray.
This activity works especially well at home. I sang the book while Zoey did the actions. I held the mother duck and raised it up whenever the song talked about the mother duck. Zoey took the 5 little duck puppets to another part of the room when the ducklings went away each time. At the end of each verse, Zoey put one duckling on a table. Then I said the subtraction equation – for example, 5-1=4. At the end, Zoey brought all the ducklings back. She really loved the activity!
Duckling Greater Than, Less Than Math Activity
Free Printable: Duckling Numbers and Greater Than, Less Than Symbols (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber)
This activity uses a piece of felt for a table mat (I used the Montessori Services felt table mat) and bead bars from the decanomial box in a Multicraft tray and Bambu condiment cups (what I used here) or other small containers. (My bead bars, which I love, are from Alison’s Montessori. You can get bead bars on Amazon, although I haven’t personally used materials from those companies.) In addition to the bead bars, I used popcorn kernels to give the ducklings something to eat.
I used the concepts from greater than, less than alligator math to place the greater than and less than symbols. This is a fun way to reinforce both bead bar work and greater than, less than.
Zoey was so excited to find the Safari Ltd. good luck mini ducks on the shelf! I used 12 ducks for addition along with see-through gem stones as markers for the duck game board. I like to play the game cooperatively where the children (or adult and child) take turns adding to the same game board until it’s full.
Use one dice and 6 ducklings for children who are working on counting rather than addition.
Free Duckling Printables for Preschoolers-First Graders
Montessori-Inspired Duckling Pack for DIY Cards and Counters, Number or Letter Matching, Number or Letter Basket, Bead Bar Work, Hands-on Math Operations, Number or Letter Salt/Sand Writing Tray, Letter Tracing, DIY Movable Alphabet, and Creative Writing (subscriber freebie, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password – or check your inbox if you’re already a subscrir)
- Rubber Duck Pattern (could use for pin punching) from Pattern Universe
- Ducks Color Matching Game from Mama Smiles
- 5 Little Ducks Printable (another good one for pin punching) from Mama Smiles
- Duckling Mask and Printables from Woo Jr.
- 10 Little Rubber Ducks Template from Mrs. Ricca’s Kindergarten
- Cut and Paste Counting: Ducks from Education.com
- Duck Printables from First School
- Duck Printables from Making Learning Fun
- Duck Lapbook from Homeschool Share
- “All the Little Ducks Go Upside Down” Sheet Music from Let’s Play Music
- Ugly Duckling Printables Pack (subscriber freebie) from Fun with Mama
- The Ugly Duckling: Printable Felt Board Images from DLTK’s Crafts for Kids
- Make Way for Ducklings Printable Pack from Wise Owl Factory
- Make Way for Ducklings Lapbook from Homeschool Share
- Make Way for Ducklings Printable Pack from 123 Homeschool 4 Me
- Duckling Printables from Teachers Notebook (It doesn’t work to link to the search here, so just search for duckling when you get there.)
- Duckling Printables from Teachers Pay Teachers
More Bird Activities and Resources
- Montessori-Inspired Bird Unit
- Montessori-Inspired Life Cycle Activities
- Free Owl Printables and Montessori-Inspired Owl Activities
- Montessori-Inspired Owl Unit with Free Printables and Activities
- Great Horned Owl Do-a-Dot Printable (Montessori-Inspired Instant Download
- Montessori Nature Tray with Owl-Themed Craft and Art Appreciation
- Free Owl Cutting Strips (Montessori-Inspired Instant Download
- Free Nest Printables and Montessori-Inspired Nest Activities
- Free Nest Do-a-Dot Printable (Montessori-Inspired Instant Download)
- Montessori Nature Tray with Bird-Themed Nest Building and Art Appreciation
- Free Bird Sounds, Songs, and Rhymes for Circle Time
- The Best Nest Books for Kids
- Free Nest Cutting Strips (Montessori-Inspired Instant Download)
- Bird Unit Study Pinterest Board
Helpful Animal Classification Posts
- Living and Non-Living
- Plant and Animal Sorting
- Montessori Animal Classification
- Free Zoo Printables and Montessori-Inspired Zoo Activities
- Montessori-Inspired Animal Units
Please join me at PreK + K Sharing to see all my posts there over the years: Deb Chitwood at PreK + K Sharing.
Learn more about my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to. Teach Grace and Courtesy! I’m also one of the coauthors of the book Learn with Play – 150+ Activities for Year-round Fun & Learning!
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