P is for Play: Five Fun Rubber Ducky Games and Activities
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The hectic schedule and excitement of the holidays have passed and we are doing our best to settle into the usual daily routine around here. It sure didn’t take long for me to start hearing the dreaded complaints about being bored. All of those lovely toys, games, puzzles and books that they got for Christmas and they are bored already? Give me a break! To add some fun into the lull of January – it has been bitterly cold and snowy here in Michigan – we have been focused on all things rubber ducky. Did you know that January 13th is National Rubber Ducky Day? I didn’t either but it seemed like a perfect thing to celebrate while cooped up during the depths of winter. Today I am sharing with you five fun rubber ducky themed games and activities for kids of all ages and are perfect for birthday parties and gatherings. Are you ready? Here we go:
My girls always love a good scavenger hunt. You may remember the post I shared this summer about our Backyard Bug Hunt. These kids of mine could hide and search for things for hours. One of our first rubber ducky themed games has been indoor duck hunts. I ordered a fabulous selection of rubber duckies from Oriental Trading and placed them all in a large basket. Their little eyes about popped out of their heads when I brought out all these cool ducks! It has been a blast hiding them around the house for them to find. We take turns hiding and looking for them in various rooms of the house. Sometimes we hide just one kind of duck or sometimes we hide them all for one giant duck hunt. My only advice is to make sure you count how many duckies you hide so you know when the hunt is over. Our favorite types of duckies have been unicorn rubber duckies, winter fairy rubber duckies, superhero girl rubber duckies, farm animal rubber duckies and safari rubber duckies. They are all adorable. I had a hard time not ordering more as there are just a ton of darling ducks to choose from.
Another fun rubber ducky themed game has been this number matching game. I also ordered a set of carnival ducks from Oriental Trading. These ducks are hard plastic and float upright when placed in water unlike the soft, squishy rubber duckies. Each duck is stamped on the bottom with the numbers 1 through 10. The set contains 20 ducks half of which just have the number on the bottom and half of which also have a star with the number. I spread out a beach towel on the kitchen floor and placed a small dish pan filled with warm water on top of it. We placed all 20 ducks in the “pond” and the game began. I had each child take a turn choosing 2 ducks and turning them over. If the numbers matched, they kept the pair. If they did not, it was the next child’s turn. This turned into a bit of a floating memory game and they loved it. Any chance to play in water is always a hit! This game is an easy way to sneak some learning into a fun activity as well.
Another fun way to incorporate learning into a rubber duck themed game is with these fun alphabet ducks also from Oriental Trading. The set contains one duck for each letter of the alphabet. Both the uppercase and lowercase letter is stamped clearly onto the front of the duck. A is for Astronaut duck, B is for Baby duck, C is for Cat duck and so on. When I first opened the set of alphabet ducks, the girls just loved finding each letter of the alphabet to see what kind of duck it was. They lined them up in order along the back of our sectional couch. When they finished the alphabet, they would sing the ABC song pointing to each duck and then knock them down and start over again. They played this game for an amazingly long time together!
The next time we got out the alphabet ducks, the girls enjoyed matching them up with a set of alphabet flash cards. This has been an ongoing activity in our house for quite some time. Ava has loved to line up alphabet magnets or flash cards and place a corresponding toy or animal with each letter. She started doing this as a toddler and loved to use the window sill of our living room window to line up her alphabet items. We have since moved into a new house and the alphabet line-up either happens on the raised hearth in front of the fireplace or up and down the main staircase as you can see in the pictures below. Amazingly enough we have just enough stairs to fit the entire alphabet if they place one card on each side of the runner. This makes for hours of entertainment. I am not even kidding!
I have had great luck finding alphabet magnets, flash cards and window clings at places like my local dollar store, the Target dollar spot, mom-to-mom sales, garage sales and even thrift stores. The flash cards you see pictured are LeapFrog Junior Letter Factory Interactive Flashcards which you can tell have been well used and are very loved. It looks like this style might only be available in limited quantities, but LeapFrog has come out with something similar HERE. My girls have also loved the animals from the Little People A to Z Learning Zoo Playset for fun alphabet play- I was lucky enough to pick these at a thrift shop for a bargain!
Lucky Duck Game
This game uses the same carnival ducks and set up as the number matching game above, but this time I assigned a task to each number. For example, 1 = Make a silly face, 2 = Touch your toes two times, 3 = Do three jumping jacks, etc. You can write these out on a slip of paper or make a simple poster ahead of time choosing tasks and activities that are age appropriate for you group of kids. The first player picks one duck and flips it over. If it is a plain number, the player completes the corresponding task from the chart. If it is a number with a star, all players complete the task together. This is a fun way to incorporate some movement and silliness into the game. You can also make one number a special number that is tied to a prize or a treat making it the “lucky duck”.
Silly Songs and Story Time
Another simple way we have had fun using our rubber ducks is to incorporate them into songs and story time. My girls love to sing Old MacDonald Had a Farm so using the farm animal rubber duckies for this song was perfect. They each had a set of farm animal rubber duckies in front of them and as we sang the song they could hold up the corresponding animal. We made the lyrics silly and duck related.
“Old MacDonald Had a Farm, E-I-E-I-O, And on his farm he had a cow, E-I-E-I-O, with a moo-quack here and a moo-quack there, here a moo, there a quack, everywhere a moo-quack”
Of course, the girls found this hilarious and asked to repeat it over and over again.
A second song that we have used our rubber ducks to act out is called “5 Little Ducks”. It goes like this: “5 little ducks went out one day, over the hill and far away, mama duck said quack-quack-quack, but only four little ducks came back.” Continue singing this verse with one less duck until no little ducks come back. The last verse is as follows: “Sad mama duck went out one day, over the hill and far away, sad mama duck said quack-quack-quack and all 5 little ducks came back!”
Another favorite song to sing in our house is “5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed”. Here are the lyrics: “5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, One fell off and bumped his head, Mama called the doctor and the doctor said, No more monkeys jumping on the bed!” Repeat this verse until there are no more monkeys jumping on the bed. The final verse goes likes this: “No little monkeys jumping on the bed, None fell off and bumped their head, Mama called the doctor and the doctor said, Put those monkeys back in bed!” Wouldn’t it be fun to use these adorable sock monkey rubber ducks to act out this song? I might have to order these too! We also have this song in book form which can be fun to use for story time.
As I have mentioned before, I found all my awesome rubber ducks for these games and activities through Oriental Trading. If you have never visited the Oriental Trading site, you are missing out on a great resource for all your party and holiday needs. From toys and games to party decorations and tableware to great craft supplies and kits, Oriental Trading has something for everyone! Check out their amazing Rubber Duck Store for all things rubber ducky. You will not believe how many darling duck varieties are available! Oriental Trading also has a fun blog page full of recipes, party ideas, tablescapes, crafts, educational activities and more. Looking for a deal at Oriental Trading? Visit their coupon page for the latest sales.
What will you do to celebrate National Rubber Ducky Day this year? I hope you are inspired by some of these fun rubber ducky games and activities. Perhaps your next birthday party or baby shower will be duck themed. The possibilities are endless and so much fun. Stay tuned for a rubber ducky Valentine card idea coming soon. Feel free to leave me a comment with your best rubber ducky ideas – I would love to hear them. Thanks for reading, friends. Stay warm and have fun!
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