We’re really loving painting on rocks at the moment and after creating our 3 little pig story stones little miss 3 decided we should make the 5 little ducks song on stones.

5 little ducks is one of her favourite songs to play and sing along to at the moment. Normally we dance around the lounge and act the song out. But since it’s Whio Awareness Month, I thought what a cool way to keep reminding little miss 3 about our own native duck the whio. And so the 5 Little Whio version of the duck song was created!

Taking well known nursery rhymes and changing the words is a really powerful way to teach children new information. The songs help the information to stick in their heads, as when they recall the tune, the information comes with it. We do this when we teach our child how to spell her name, by using the bingo song. We’ve also created a song around washing our hands, sung to the tune of row, row, row your boat.

This is also a great activity if you have older children with younger siblings. You can get the older kids to paint the stones for their younger brothers or sisters. This makes it a really cool activity for the whole family to get involved in.

If you want to find out more about our Native New Zealand whio before you make your own story stones, check out the Whio Forever website, as it has a wealth of information. They also have an amazing competition running for Whio Awareness Month. Your whole family could win the chance to join a real Ranger, out in the wild, finding whio! Find out how to win a whio wilderness experience here.

How to make 5 little Whio – Story Stones

You will need
Acrylic paint (we used Resene test pots)
Paintbrushes one small, one thick
8 stones
Black vivid, or sharpie
Whio song printable

What to do

First up, give all the stones 2 coats of white paint.

Once the paint is dry draw a light pencil outline of the ducks onto 6 of the rocks. Make sure you make a larger duck for the Mummy whio. If you’re unsure about drawing ducks here’s a great link I used to show me how to draw ducks.

Next paint the ducks’ body a blue/grey. I mixed Resene Snap blue and Regent grey together and for the head I used a dark blue mixed with the Snap blue. Paint a small swish of a wing with the same colour as the head. Use a light grey for the beak, and paint the tip of the beak black. Finally add some yellow in for the eyes, and a few dots of red on the front of the belly.

Let the paint dry, which doesn’t take that long at all if it’s a warm day. I found by the time I had painted the last duck the first one was dry.

Add a ring of blue water around the bottom of the ducks and outline them with the vivid, or sharpie to finish them off.

Now paint a river on one of the stones and, using the vivid, draw a speech bubble on the last stone with the words quack, quack, quack in it.

Make sure they’re all dry and enjoy singing with your child!

Whio song printable


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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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