Rubber Duckie, you're the one, You make bathtime lots of fun, Rubber Duckie, I'm awfully fond of you…
Whether you spell it “Ducky” or “Duckie” (as in the Sesame Street song), the rubber duck squeaked in to become a 2013 inductee into the Toy Hall of Fame (along with the ancient game of chess). Officials at the National Toy Hall of Fame (located inside the The Strong—National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY) say anyone can nominate a toy and thousands of suggestions come in every year. An internal committee of curators, educators and historians chooses the finalists and then a national selection committee votes for the winners. Longevity is a key criterion for getting into the hall. Each toy must be widely recognized, foster learning, creativity or discovery through play, and endure in popularity over generations.
Rubber ducks have been recognized as the quintessential bathtub toy since 1970 when Ernie, the cheerful orange Muppet on Sesame Street, first sang the catchy ditty “Rubber Duckie” to his best bath buddy. The song rose to number 16 on Billboard’s chart of hit tunes and, 43 years later, kids still sing the praises of their water play pals.
Not only the bathtub but the water table is a natural place for rubber ducks to reside. Excellerations™ Letter Learning Ducks from Discount School Supply® are a great play prop addition. The product includes:
- 26 plastic ducks—each with an upper and lowercase alphabet letter on the bottom
- 26 alphabet duck-shaped cards—each with an upper and lowercase alphabet letter on one side of the card and a corresponding picture that begins with that letter on the opposite side
- Mesh drawstring bag to store ducks
- Activity guide filled with great game ideas for 2-7 year olds
Activity Ideas for 3-5 year olds
- Fill the water table and place the Letter Learning Ducks in the water. Encourage children to find the duck that has the first letter of their name.
- Place the Alphabet Duck Cards on the floor or on a table with the letters facing up. When a child finds the duck with the matching letter, have him place the duck next to the matching alphabet card. After everything is matched, sing the alphabet song together.
- Add some no tears bubble bath soap to the water and have the children stir up some bubble bath fun for the rubber ducks.
Objectives & Learning Outcomes
- Fine motor control—Muscle strength in the hands and fingers and coordination of the eyes and hands is promoted when children play with the ducks
Social & Emotional Development:
- Playing cooperatively and sharing ducks
- Explore social roles as they give the ducks a bath
- Children discuss their observations and experimentation as they manipulate the ducks
- Children expand their vocabularies as they learn words like sudsy, splash, bubble, pop
- Understand cause and effect relationships—predicting what will happen when soap is added to the water
- Recognizing beginning letters in familiar words and names (preschool standard)
- Matching words with the same beginning sounds (preschool standard)
- Recognizing all upper and lowercase alphabet letters (kindergarten standard)