What to do with this activity?
From early on, take your baby for walks in the local park, especially if there are ducks or other birds to see. Children love feeding the ducks and are fascinated by bird behaviour. Watch how the ducks dip their heads into the water and stick their tails in the air. Talk about how their legs are really good paddles under the water, and listen to the sound they make - "quack, quack, quack".
The advice from Birdwatch Ireland is that we shouldn't give bread to ducks. Instead, chop your vegetable peelings into small chunks (potato, carrots or leaves) and bring them in a small plastic container. The ducks will also love a few defrosted frozen peas, or any type of bird seed. Count the ducks that you see.
Sing a counting song with a duck theme. Here is "Five Little Ducks" on Youtube. If you would like a copy of the words click on the PDF link above right.
Always keep a close eye on your toddler when they are near water.
Children learn about numbers in a natural way through play and by counting real things in their everyday lives. The repetition of numbers in a fun way helps children remember the sequence of 1, 2, 3. Movement and rhymes also make it easier for a child to remember sounds – that’s why nursery rhymes are so great.
When out shopping, count food items with your child as you put them into your trolley. If you’re saying a nursery rhyme why not shake a plastic bottle filled with rice or small stones to the rhythm to make more noise.
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