The book , “10 Little Rubber Ducks,” by Eric Carle is beloved by children all around the World, and at Sunshine and Rainbows Learning Center in Joliet, Illinois they did a number of fun activities with their own little rubber ducks inspired by the book!
Here are five number recognition activities you can do with your classroom that are full of fun and learning!
All you need to do is write a variety of numbers on the bottom of your ducks (generally it is good to have at least 20 ducks so that you can have two of each number up to ten) and you’re ready to play!
1. Number Identification
For really young students (preschool-age) simply being able to identify a number is a good skill to build. Have a student pick a duck out of the water and turn it upside-down so they can see the number. Ask the student to identify what number it is. If they are struggling, help them. For example, if it is the number five and they do not know what to say, you can tell them, “This is the number we talked about that comes after four.”
2. Odd or Even?
This is another great activity for younger students. Have them pick a duck out of the water and when they see the number ask them if it is an odd number or an even number. If they say the wrong answer just remind them that the numbers 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 are odd while 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 are even.
3. The Bigger Number
As older preschoolers and younger kindergartners are learning about numbers this is a great to discuss which number is, “Bigger,” than the other. You have the student pick two ducks randomly and then compare the numbers. They then can say which one is bigger than the other, or if the numbers match they can say they are the same! If the student is struggling you can help them. For example, “You picked a 3 and an 8. If the number 7 comes after 3 that means it is bigger, and 8 is right after 7, so does that mean 8 is bigger?”
4. Addition Activity
Have students pick two ducks out of the pond and then add the two numbers on the bottom of the ducks together. This is a great activity for learning basic math facts with kindergarten students!
5. Carnival-Themed Matching Ducks
This activity is just like the traditional carnival game where you pick two ducks and if the numbers match, you win! To do this game have the student randomly pick two ducks. If the numbers match, they have won, but if the numbers do not match they can try again! You can offer the students the option to, “Hold onto,” one duck and hope they find its match or to put both ducks back and take two new ones.
So that the game does not take too long for each student maybe limit them to three tries each before someone else gets a turn. After everyone has won they all get a prize!
Sunshine and Rainbows Learning Center