The Original Lucky Ducks Game, Transformed!
When was the last time you played Lucky Ducks? This all-time favorite kid’s game was originally created to support children in learning their colors. Newer versions also focus on shape identification. Since we are all about DIY and Active Learning at the ABC’s of Movement, I transformed Lucky Ducks into a learning game for preschoolers with an emphasis on math, turn taking, and movement.
I have used this in my school based physical therapy practice as a large group activity to improve gross motor skills for preschoolers and they LOVE it! Since I always create my lessons with the whole child in mind, combining listening, taking turns, and basic math skills while playing this kinesthetic learning activity makes perfect sense.
How To Play
Set the pond full of ducks and the nests on the ground and the fun begins. I recommend setting them on the ground so children are required to squat down when choosing a duck. Squatting is a great activity for leg strengthening and practicing balance too. Look here for more leg strengthening exercises.
Invite your group of preschoolers to the area and make sure there is enough space to move. The game lasts 15-20 minutes and can be played indoors or outside. Each child takes a turn pushing the red button to set the duck pond in motion and the ducks quacking. After a short while, ask the child to push the button again to turn the ducks off. I often hold my head and say, “Can you please turn those ducks off, they are giving me a headache?” They then take turns picking a duck, identifying the color, choosing the corresponding nest, and then placing the duck on one of the three exercises on that nest. That child then leads the group in the exercise that he/she choose.
After a few children have taken their turns, begin to have the children count as a group how many ducks are still in the pond, how many ducks are on each nest, which nest has more ducks, which has less, do any have the same number (equal) of ducks? As children take turn after turn, they begin to realize that there are less and less ducks in the pond.
Why Add Movement?
So why such an emphasis on kinesthetic learning? Young children are movers and shakers and learn best when they are actively engaged in hands-on, movement based educational activities. For decades brain research has supported the link of movement to learning.
More Great Activties!
Taking turns while moving and learning basic math concepts such as counting, grouping, more, less, same (equal) has never been so much fun! Here are more ways to use Lucky Ducks.
Are you interested in more games for kinesthetic learners? Check out What’s in Ned’s Head and 10 Ways to Teach the Alphabet that Incorporate Movement.