Mother duck and ducklings song

Duck songs by Jean Warren

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Little baby ducklings – dash, dash, dash.
Jumped in the duck pond – splash, splash, splash!
When their Mother called them – quack, quack, quack!
Little baby ducklings – swam right back.
                                                Adapted Traditional

Four little ducks went out one day,
Over the hill and far away.
Mother duck, said, “Quack, Quack, Quack”
But only three little ducks came waddling back.

Three little ducks went out one day,
Over the hill and far away.
Mother duck, said, “Quack, Quack, Quack”
But only two little ducks came waddling back.

Two little ducks went out one day,
Over the hill and far away.
Mother duck, said, “Quack, Quack, Quack”
But only one little duck came waddling back.

One little duck went out one day,
Over the hill and far away.
Mother duck said, “Quack, Quack, Quack,”
And no little ducks came waddling back.

Mother duck went out that day,
Over the hill and far away.
Mother duck said, “It’s time to come back”
And the four little ducks came waddling back.
                                                Adapted Traditional

Tune:  “Down By The Station”

Down at the pond, early in the morning,
See the little ducks swimming in a row.
See the Mother duck, dive for her breakfast,
Up, down, up, down, watch her go!

Down at the pond, early in the morning,
See the little ducks, swimming in a row.
See the Mother duck, flap her wings just so,
Up she flys, her ducklings in tow!
                                                Jean Warren

Tune:  “Old Mac Donald Had A Farm”

Old Mac Donald had a farm –E, I, E, I, O.
And on this farm he had a duck – E, I, E, I, O.
With a quack, quack, here and a quack, quack there.
Here a quack, there a quack, everywhere a quack, quack.
Old Mac Donald had a farm – E, I, E, I, O.

Little baby ducklings, all brand new,
Fat ones, skinny ones, short ones, too.
But the biggest duck, with feathers on his back,
He led the others with a quack, quack, quack.
Quack, quack, quack,
Quack, quack, quack,
He led the others with a quack, quack, quack.
                                                Adapted Traditional

Ten little ducklings, running at a dash,  
(Have children run in place)
Jumped in the pond, with a great big splash! 
(Pretend to jump and splash)
Then their Mother called them, quack, quack quack! 
(Have children turn halfway around)
And the ten little ducklings, came swimming back. 
(Have children pretend to swim back)
                                                 Adapted Traditional

A family of ducks, every day would go
Out for a walk, wobbling two and fro.
The Mother duck with feathers on her back,
Kept them in line, with her quack, quack, quack.

When they came to a lake, they jumped right in,
Padding around for their daily swim.
When it was time to go home, she gave a loud, “quack, quack!”
And all of her ducklings, came swimming back.

                                                                Adapted Traditional


Five Little Ducks-Lyrics, History, Video, Lesson Plans & More – Nursery Rhyme Central

Five Little Ducks is a traditional nursery rhyme about five little ducks and their mother. It is one of the oldest rhymes and is an excellent way to teach children to count.

It has been translated into many languages, including French and German.

What Are the Lyrics of Five Little Ducks?

Lyrics As Sung Today

The song lyrics have remained the same over the years. There are, however, instances where the animals are changed to include others. For example, instead of five little ducks, its five little elephants, chicks, or calves.

Here are the lyrics as I learned them growing up:

Five little ducks went out one day,
Over the hills and far away,
Mother duck said,
“Quack, quack, quack,”
But only four little ducks came back.

Four little ducks went out one day,
Over the hills and far away,
Mother duck said,
“Quack, quack, quack,”
But only three little ducks came back.

Three little ducks went out one day,
Over the hills and far away,
Mother duck said,
“Quack, quack, quack,”
But only two little ducks came back.

Two little ducks went out one day,
Over the hills and far away,
Mother duck said,
“Quack, quack, quack,”
But only one little duck came back.

One little duck went out one day,
Over the hills and far away,
Mother duck said,
“Quack, quack, quack,”
But none of the little ducks came back.

So Mother Duck went out one day
Over the hills and far away,
Mother duck said
“QUACK, QUACK, QUACK!” (Use louder voice)
And all of the five little ducks came back.

Differences in The Lyrics

There are some versions with a different final stanza to the one above.

1. Father Duck Calling for the Little Ducks at the End

Instead of mother duck, the stanza has father duck calling for the chicks and them returning.

Some people, somewhat tongue in cheek, see this as sexist since the ducklings only return after their father calls for them. That depicts the mother duck as a lousy mom who doesn’t bother looking for the lost duckling, only getting alarmed when none returns.

It thus isn’t as popular as the original versions where it’s the mother calling for her little ducks.

Here it is the first of several nursery rhymes. Wait till the end to see daddy duck finally call for the little ducks and them showing up.

Changing Mother Duck for Father Duck (or teacher, Uncle, Aunty etc…)

There is a song variation where singers replace the mother duck part with the father duck. It is only a simple interchange you can try if you want to break from the monotony of mother duck calling for the little ducks all the time.

But again, you need to remember that no rule stops you from playing around with the lyrics after all!

The Different Variations of the Five Little Ducks Nursery Song

Although the original lyrics are about five little ducks, different variations include other animals. They, however, follow the same rhyme as the original lyrics although the tune can sometimes be slightly different.

Below are the lyrics to some of them.

Five Little Snowmen

Five little snowmen, all made of snow,
Five little snowmen standing in a row,
Out came the sun and stayed all day,
And one little snowman melted away.

(Repeat until no snowmen are left.)

Five Brown Bunnies

Five brown buns in the baker’s shop
Five brown buns with sugar on the top
Along came a man
With a penny in his hand
He took one bun, and off he ran!


Who Came Up with Five Little Ducks?

Although the Five Little Ducks song has been around for a long time, the author’s identity is unknown. Only the names of authors who have made reimagined versions of the song are known.

Since the original author is unknown, there is little to nothing about the song’s history. We know that the song is one of the most popular songs used to teach children how to count.

It introduces to the children the concept of counting in descending order. That’s from the disappearance of the ducks from 5 to zero. That’s what makes it such a popular song.

What’s most notable for most of the 80’s and 90s kids is the song’s adaptation by one of the world’s beloved children’s entertainers, Ralf. He included the song in his Album, Rise and Shine. That further popularized the song to the masses of children that loved his music.

In 2016, Denise Fleming wrote a picture book of the song that teaches children to count the ducks and the days of the week. She reworded most of the words in the poem and included funny illustrations that children can relate to.

The Five Little Ducks song has different versions in different world languages from Spanish (Cinco patitos), French (Cinq petits canards), Italian (Cinque paperelle), German (Fünf kleine Enten) to Portuguese (Cinco patinhos).

All that serves to show the popularity of the song.


What Are Little Ducks?

Little ducks are the children of a duck that we typically call ducklings. In this case, the word ‘little” shows us they are ducklings and not adult ducks. Only little ducks would fail to find their way home after a day of playing out over the hills.

Does it make you wonder why their mother didn’t look for them immediately after noticing they had begun disappearing?

What Is Mother Duck

Ducks are just like humans in that they also have a mother and a father. The ducks, in this case, have a mother duck. Although there is a name for the male duck(drake), the female only goes by duck or hen.

So, in this case, the mother hen is the female duck, the mother to the five ducklings.

Where Did the Ducks Disappear to?

As the song progresses, the ducks stop returning one by one whenever they go out over the hills and far away to play.

We can’t tell what held the little ducks from returning the first time they disappeared. When you start singing the song and aren’t familiar with how it goes, you might worry about the little ducks

However, the happy ending where all the little ducks’ return allays your fears of them having lost their way. That also means nothing terrible happens to the little ducks when they disappear one by one.

It is most likely each little duck became preoccupied with something along their way and was distracted playing or observing something new, just as toddlers and preschoolers do on a walk – who have to be reminded by their adult to keep up, or to keep walking!

What Does Quack Mean?

The word quack can refer to a fake professional, especially in the medical field. However, in this context, the mother duck makes the sound to call the ducklings. Quacking is a harsh sound you hear ducks make for various reasons.

We all know the expression if it walks and quacks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck.


Is Five Little Ducks in the Public Domain?

Since the song’s original author is unknown, anyone can use the song. With no known author, you can’t get into trouble using the song for anything you like.

The only thing you need to remember is that other people’s versions of the song aren’t in the public domain. For instance, the version by a Canadian folk songs singer isn’t available in the public domain.

You can’t use it for your profit without their permission as it will get you in trouble because of copyright laws.

Does the Five Little Ducks Song Have Any Hidden Meanings?

Many nursery rhymes have hidden meanings that naturally will horrify many a parent. However, Five Little Ducks doesn’t have any hidden meaning besides the direct meaning when singing it.

It is only a fun song about five little ducks. The ducks not returning has no ulterior meaning but was a good tool to help children create a story in their minds and to visualize the counting from five to zero. We all learn better through stories!

Can a Mother Duck Be that Careless?

It is just a song!!! It is not a statement made about mothering or a careless mother. You can change the adult duck to any really – Father, Teacher, aunty, uncle.

But still people do question – Why didn’t she look for the first duck that disappeared??? There are so many answers to this – maybe it wasn’t the first time this has happened, maybe faraway is just on the other side of the pond where she can see them, maybe she knows the track well and she knew where they likely would have stopped to play, maybe this all happened in only five minutes, maybe there was another duck over the hill and faraway such as father duck???

After all if they could hear her when she quaked they really couldn’t have been that far away.

Honestly, it is a bit like myself calling my kids in from the backyard for dinner! There is one out there and so the other three all want to go out to get that one, then I call out again, two return, I ask where the others are and they run out but then one returns and this goes on and on until I have to go out myself and tell them all to get inside!!!

Why did she only go out looking when all of them failed to return? Another question people ask but seriously it is just a song…… but if she is anything like me – she was probably busy making dinner and had asked the other kids (ducklings) to tell the others to come inside, but each time another just wanted to play a little longer on the trampoline!!!

What Does the Five Little Ducks Song Teach?

While lacking in any real moral lessons that you might find in other nursery rhymes, the Five Little Ducks Song teaches children to count backward from 5-0 and about the concept of subtraction.

This song can also help children learn about telling a story with a beginning, middle, and ending of events.

It can also help to develop motor skills as each line has specific actions that can accompany it as it is sung. The hand movements accompanying the singing make it easier for children to grasp the descending order of numbers as they visualize the concept of subtraction that is occurring.

Hand Actions for the song

Here are the lyrics together with the hand actions that you can use while singing.

Five little ducks went out one day (Hold up five fingers)

Over the hills and far away (Wave hand as if going up and down a hill)

Mother duck said, “quack quack quack quack,” (Open and close your hand like a quaking duck)

But only four little ducks came back. (Hold up four fingers)

(Repeat actions, using the corresponding number of fingers as you count down the numbers in descending order.)

Are There Any Other Songs That Share the Same Melody as Five Little Ducks?

Most of the songs sung the same way as five little ducks are derivatives of the song itself. The nursery rhyme Five Little birds comes to mind here. It has the same connotation as the Five Little Ducks Song, only that in this case, it is little birds leaving the nest to fly instead.

You can also sing the variations we mentioned earlier like you’d sing the Five Little Ducks.

Can You Sing Five Little Ducks in Sign Language?

Yes, you can. The following is an excellent video from YouTube that can teach you how to sing the song with sign language.


The following are a selection of Lesson Plans that I have found inspired by the Five Little Ducks Nursery Rhyme. All of the lessons are hosted by other websites, so you will need to click on the images to learn more and download their resources.


What time signature Is Five Little Ducks?

Five Little Ducks can have a time signature of either ¾ or 6/8. that tells you how much of an easy time any experienced musician would have with the song. Although it has six quavers on each bar, the logical way would be to sing it in threes to make it easier for them.


It is possible to play Five Little Ducks on most instruments. Below are some instructional videos from YouTube that will help you learn how to play the nursery rhyme on different instruments.

  1. The Piano
  • The Xylophone
  • Guitar
  • Violin
  • Ukulele

Poems about ducks and ducks

Ducklings and a stream
Running out of silver springs,
The stream rolls over stones.
He sets an example for the ducklings,
Pronouncing "r" very cleanly.
And the ducklings, thanks to the brook,
Pronounce "quack" very clearly.
Vladimir Orlov


Ducks swim in the pond.
I'll come closer,
"Uchi-uti" - I'll tell them,
I'll offer them chervyachkov.

Ducks - a worm.
The rest is for the gander.
So that he becomes well-fed, kind,
He did not offend the little ones.
Tatyana Gusarova

The duck went to the river.
And she led the ducklings.
Tells them: quack-quack-quack,
Don't be naughty kids in vain.
Don't go far.
Don't run after the bugs.
Keep your heads straight,
Row quickly with your paws.
And the ducklings: quack-quack-quack-
Mom, teach me how to dive!
Gorenburgova R.

Ducks I'll get up early in the morning -
And go to the river, to the ducks!
Let the road be not easy,
I will take them a worm.
The ducks will say: “Quack-quack!
He came here for a reason!”
Alla Akhundova

Short poems about ducks and ducklings

Waddling importantly,
Bravely jumping into the river
And, speaking of something,
splashing in the river!


Went out light with mom
Yellow ducklings,
And swam down the river
Little guys.

Tuki - tuki - points -
Duck - on a tussock,
And ducklings in the reeds
Hurry to catch duckweed!
Weaver Е

Uti-uti-ducks —
White breasts,
Twisted feathers,
Turned paws.
Ducks are swimming in the pond,
I am going to them with a present -
Soft white bread.
Swim boldly!
Ray A.

I'm going to the water now.
Who is swimming in the pond?
By the bushes where the forget-me-nots,
Duck fish are guarding.
A brood of ducklings is nearby,
All ducklings want to eat.
Speaking to them about something,
Ducks quack: — Quack-quack!

A waddling duck came to the lake
A duck brought ducks behind her,
Quack - Quack said,
You swim after me
Quack - Quack and with your paws
Row under water.
Klementieva V.

A funny ducklings,
Very friendly guys.
In the morning everyone goes to the pond,
Adventure awaits them there.
"Quack" mother duck said,
"Here are my little ones swimming!"
Lukanova L.

Walking along the forest path,
Slightly waddling, like barrels,
Singing "quack-quack-quack"
Mother duck and daughter duck.
Hastened, as always,
Though still small in sprouts,
Plunge into the cold
Pond of the hasty duck-daughter.
"Get out of the water -
You won't get a worm!”,
burst into tears in response, a capricious duck-daughter.
And puffed up like a turkey-cock,
Or, maybe, like a barrel,
The mother duck stomped on the duck-daughter with her paw.
And then, closing their eyes,
Warming themselves, lying on the sand,
Like fluffy balls,
Duck-mother and duck-daughter.
The sun has disappeared behind the hill,
Night has come...
Sleeps under mother's wing
restless duck-daughter.
Iskandaryan M.

Nine little ducklings
puffing dissatisfied -
swimming in the shell is boring,
too small a backwater.
It’s a pity, I’m sorry for the ducklings -
they want to swim in the lake,
but don’t get excited:
at first you need to learn
you need to swim aground -
ships don’t interfere,
the pike-evil will not swallow . ..
Still, it’s better in the swamp -
a lot of delicious worms,
water striders, fireflies,
tadpoles, leeches
and insects, and bugs,
and mosquito larvae.
Momus A.

A humorous poem about a duck

A duck was walking along the river,
Here is a place for the stomach:
There are shells, fish, mud.
Tired of holding on decently,
A duck gets into the water
And does this:
Bulk - under the water with his head,
Only the tail above the wave
Splashes like a white banner.
We watched the news
And it never happened,
That the duck drowned.
Shimko I.

The duckling Quack came to the pond,
He chose a flexible rod more strongly,
He tied a rope to it,
He dug up half a jar of worms,
Threw a fishing pole and waits,
When the carp starts pecking
Why carp the Quack duck?!
You won't guess, friends!! —
Krya sent dinner to Sazan!
There is no hook on the rope!
Efimova T.

Mother of the duck Quack-quack-quack
A very friendly family.
Ducklings swim together
And all the guys dive.
Everyone wants to swim after their mother,
They roar together, merrily,
They collect water in the beak,
They eat flies, worms.
The sun is shining in the sky,
The breeze is playing with the wave,
The blue splashes are shining,
And the ducklings “Quack” are screaming!
Pisman Z.

We are funny ducklings,
Ooty - ooty, babies.
We live on the Lake,
We sing songs merrily!
Tili - tili, quack-quack - quack,
Come to us friends.
Watch us play
And we dive for fish.
We play hide-and-seek in the grass,
We have fun without looking back.
And to the sounds: quack-quack - quack,
We always hurry to mommy.
Our feathers, fluff,
Serve us like a float.
We deftly swim on the water,
To swim like this requires skill.
We are funny ducklings,
Ooty - duck that baby.
We live on the Lake,
We sing songs together!
Rybkin V.

Instructive poem about ducks and crows
(about how we notice the shortcomings of others, but we don’t see our own)

Two ducklings picked up
Stretched like a rubber band -
Fuck! and there were two pieces…

Yellow to the right, black to the left
Flies upside down,
And the crow looks from the branch
And the crow says:

“Impossible manners!
Look, Sophie...
Raised by mother duck...
Phi, what greed! Fi!"

Aunt Dasha suddenly came out of the window
Korka was thrown into the garden.
Two crows clashed instantly -
Only feathers fly.

And the ducklings are terribly happy...
“Look, Sophie...
Who raised you? Barboska?
Phi! And very fi!”
Sasha Black

Counting about ducks

ten small ducklings
at night all go to bed:
times - the duckling is the most brave, two - slightly ineveless,
A four A four - daring!
Five - turned out to be a glutton!
Six - left dirty!
Seven - the duckling was a rascal!
Eight - groaned all the way!
Nine - quickly went to bed,
And the tenth, most important -
He grabs your hand!
Shvetsova G.

Other poems about ducks and ducklings
"The Brood" Berestov.
"Ooty-ooty" Agniya Barto.
"Duck" S. Mikhalkov. (A sad poem about a hunter and a duck.)
"Ducklings" Berestov

Video: mother duck walks newborn ducklings along the corridors of the maternity hospital

The bird has obviously chosen the right place.

The Florida OB/GYN office released a video of a mother duck walking her ducklings around the maternity hospital, Fox reports.

The doctor who filmed this funny video said that the ducklings hatched in the maternity ward of the nearby Baptist Medical Center Beaches hospital. On the footage, the mother duck importantly follows the corridors, and the employees of the gynecological department direct the family to the exit.

“A mother and her 10 ducklings were safely escorted out of the building by our staff. We are still "quacking" over this cute story, ”the doctor wrote on social networks. Obstetricians joke that the ducks will return for a six-week postpartum checkup.

The comments noted that the duck chose the best place for the birth of her children. Users offer to help the bird apply for health insurance.

Why do we never see baby pigeons? Do they hide them?

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