If It Looks Like A Duck and Walks Like A Duck…..(we’ll call it a duck, even if it’s not)

Okay, so we’re moving on to the Clever Clovers Farm Animals activity plan.  Today is all about ducks!  My girls are pretty familiar with ducks already (one of their favourite books from birth was a book about ducks that makes a quacking sound).  I also feel like I didn’t document this activity very well with relevant videos and pics.  It was bit difficult to keep them together, off the ice and video and take photos and push the stroller and answer everybody’s questions about twins who wanted to stop and talk to them and….. you get the picture.

Mondays and Wednesdays I choose one activity we did today from the Clever Clovers curriculum and share our experiences (starring my twin babies)

 This week’s Theme: Farm Animals

Activity Description: Outdoor Activity: Go for a walk in your local park and feed the ducks

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Social Learning

Specific Skill: Caring for others in your community

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 17 months

1. Our warm up activity was done in the car; we sang Old Macdonald and I explained to them that we were going to go to the park and they could walk around and that we have some food to feed the ducks because they are hungry.  I knew quite well that they understood because when we got there and I opened the car door M was shouting “duck” and when I tried to put O in the stroller, a tantrum ensued (I had said that they could walk).  I had to explain to her that she could walk around after we got to the duck pond….

2. In this lovely park where we take walks regularly, there is a pond that is ALWAYS FULL of ducks (even in the winter).  Hmm….well, we went there today full  of excitement and there were no ducks to be found!!!!  But there were geese, which the girls referred to as ducks, so I just went with it.  I don’t think it matters at this point if they know the difference between a duck and a goose.

O pointing at the “ducks”

3. So, um,….. the activity was to feed the ducks…. but there were no ducks and we didn’t feed these geese because I have seen them be quite aggressive……..unsuccessful activity?  NO WAY!  It is important as a teacher and parent to be flexible; work with what is presented to you in each moment.

4. They were so excited to see the “ducks” and explore their surroundings.  It was amazing for me to watch them seek and discover things.  Social learning at its best……..

Here are the words I heard them using:

  • duck
  • quack
  • water
  • Wow!
  • hello & bye bye (to passers-by)
  • dog (there were several dog-walkers)
  • and of course…uh, oh

Here are the new words I was able to introduce in context (as a result of our surroundings):

  • fly/flying
  • wings
  • sky
  • ice
  • dirt
  • bicycle (there were a few cyclists)

Here are some other things I saw them do:

  • explore textures with their hands and feet (touching the mud, dirt & gravel, and seeing what it is like to walk on them)
  • actively look for the “ducks” (through fences, trees, up in the sky, etc.)
  • react to and recognize sounds (barking, various birds)
  • interact with other people
  • communicate with me and each other about what they were experiencing
  • Oh, and at one point M was attempting to count the “ducks”  (just amazing, I thought to myself, with a smile)
M watching the "ducks"

M watching the “ducks”

M enjoying herself

M enjoying herself









A couple of small videos to help illustrate our adventures today:

1.  The video below will demonstrate how to add language to what your baby expresses an interest in.  In this case, they hear and notice a bird flying through the sky.  So I put words to what they are experiencing.

Your baby will notice and take interest in so many things each day, narrating what they are experiencing and feeling is a wonderful way for you to acknowledge their communication and to teach them language.


2. This next video shows general interaction.  I acknowledge and put words to what O is trying to express when she says “uh oh” and I try to get them to use the focused language (duck, quack) in context (to their experience).

The way you hear me speak to them is not exactly how I would normally communicate.  I slow my speech slightly, I annunciate more and I use words they are more familiar with.  It may seem like a lot of work but it is just a habit.  Get into the habit of communicating with your baby in this way and you won’t even need to think about it, it will come naturally.


Leave a comment to tell me about your attempts to communicate this way (& the outcome, of course!)


One thought on “If It Looks Like A Duck and Walks Like A Duck…..(we’ll call it a duck, even if it’s not)

  1. I love this one! And I can’t believe M is counting, that’s AMAZING!!!

    Aaron’s just over 5 months and I talk to him in a similar way, maybe even more slowly because at this point he’s picking out certain sounds/syllables and not whole words. When I babble to him he actually imitates pretty closely.

    He’s reaching a really fun stage in his social development. Eugene made a loud sound today and he didn’t know how to react so he looked over to me, saw me laughing, and giggled back to daddy. He’s relying so heavily on social cues at this young age, it makes me smile 🙂

    Keep posting, I love keeping up with you guys!

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