Make Way for Ducklings
by Robert McCloskey
*For a list of all the books we have explored in Pre-K Activities: Read and Play, visit our archives here.
This Caldecott Medal winner is sure to win your heart as you follow Mr. and Mrs. Mallard and their brood of ducklings as they embark on a journey to find the perfect home. Before reading the story, tell your child that the ducks’ adventure takes place in Boston, Massachusetts. Find a map of the United States and show your child where this is located. Next, find a map of the world and show your child where Boston is located in relation to where your family lives.
After finishing the story, here are a few fun and enriching activities you can do with your child:
1) Discuss whether Mr. and Mrs. Mallard were good parents to their ducklings. What makes a good parent? Have your child be “a good parent” to one of his or her stuffed animals or dolls for a day. Praise them when they are being responsible for and kind to their “child.”
2) The ducks in this story are mallards. Read more about them here: http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/animals/creaturefeature/mallard-ducks/.
3) Have your child color this picture of a mallard: http://www.freeprintablecoloringpages.net/showcover/Birds/Mallard_Duck. Prepare a bowl of yummy peanuts (a favorite snack of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard) for you and your family to munch on while your child displays his/her picture and teaches everyone a few newly acquired facts about mallards. (Prepare an alternate tasty snack if there are peanut allergies in your family.)
4) Police officers look out for the welfare of people, and often (as this story depicts) even animals. Talk about how Michael, the policeman, and other police officers helped the Mallard family. Discuss other things they do to keep us safe. If possible, schedule a time when you and your child can visit your local police station to meet a real police officer. Encourage your child to ask any questions they may have.
5) Most birds, including ducks, can fly. Ask your child where they would fly to if they could fly anywhere they desired. Pretend to fly outside or around the house with your child to their specified location. Brainstorm other places that would be fun to fly to. End each flight with a hug and remind them not to try traveling anywhere without you!
If you and your child enjoyed this story, I highly recommend “Make Way for McCloskey: A Robert McCloskey Treasure.” It contains “Make Way for Ducklings” as well as seven other gems, including “Blueberries for Sal”, “Lentil”, and “One Morning in Maine.”
For a printable collection of this week’s activities, click here.