Often the best learning is selected independently and as I have said previously, you can have the most creative ideas in the world but it's often the child who extends the activity, theme or learning in the most imaginative way. And then we get to use their ideas at some later stage in planning for other children, whilst never forgetting that again it may go off in another direction totally or fall flat as a pancake with other children.
Continuing on the same theme as the last post on 5 little ducks, we have a large box of bath ducks of various sizes, colours and designs, one set has numbers written on the bottoms (ones pictured) others light up, change colour or quack in water. Note to self "We don't need any more ducks, no matter what the price!"
The child in the picture selected all the ducks with numbers on the bottom and placed in this tray (original purpose: dip tray £1 Tesco), added water from the water butt and found a net from the fish box (net designed for getting the fish from your tank to clean out the fish very cheap and perfect size for play).
He then played with this various ways talking as he did so. "I'm finding the 2" fishing out the ducks and checking whether it is the correct duck, sometimes remembering where it was from previous fishes. Or making up sums and fishing out the answer, or on occasion fishing out two or three ducks and adding up the total.
When planning consider posing challenges such as the ones set by this child. Or perhaps draw shapes on the bottoms.