The Ugly Duckling Activities for Pre-K & Kindergarten

Updated March 23, 2017

The story of "The Ugly Duckling" is about a young barnyard bird that is ridiculed and abused by others who then grows into a beautiful swan. It is often read in the early elementary school years as a lesson that no matter how bad things seem, they can always turn out for the better. If you need to conduct "Ugly Duckling" activities with pre-k and kindergarten students, there are a variety of them to choose from.

Read the Story

Read " The Ugly Duckling" Story to your students. The story is written by Hans Christian Andersen and can be obtained from bookstores and libraries. Engage children in the story by asking questions during the reading.

Colouring page

Have the children complete an "Ugly Duckling" colouring page. Colouring pages containing scenes from the story can be downloaded from the Internet and bought at teacher supply bookstores.

Make a Swan

Do a swan craft with the children. Give a cut out of a swan head and body to each student and have them attach the beak and feet with glue.

Count the Ducks

Draw a swan and 10 ducks in a row on a board or piece of paper starting with the swan first. You can also tape paper cutouts to the board if you're not good at drawing. Instruct students to count them. Erase or cross out a duck after every time the students finish counting them and have them recount until there is only the swan left.

Duck Duck Swan

Modify the traditional game of "duck goose" by changing it to "duck swan". Have students sit in a circle and choose one student to start the game off. Instruct the starting student to go around the circle and touch children while saying "duck." Instruct them to say "swan" once they come to a student they want to have chase them around the outside of the circle. The goal is for the starting student to make it back to the seat of the person they called a swan before they are tagged. If they are tagged they have to go around the circle again saying "duck, duck, swan." If they are not tagged, the other student has to go around saying "duck, duck, swan."

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Rayzelle Forrest Young is a freelance writer specializing in SEO articles for various websites. She has a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications and has written for such sites as and She has been writing professionally since 2008.