October 20, 2018 posted by littlewhitecottage

Using rubber ducks to learn teen numbers…

We love rubber ducks in our house. We’ve had many over the years but we don’t seem to have any at the moment so when I saw some in a cheap shop I knew I had to buy them. F also loves counting and proudly shows her counting ability (to 10 confidently and then things get interesting after 13) whenever she can.

Over the past few weeks I’ve got out the base ten apparatus and also multilink cubes and after counting we’ve looked at the digits that represent the numbers. F is now learning that, for example, in the number 13, the 1 is 1 set of ten and the 3 shows us there are 3 ones (or units) left over.


To combine the counting and ducks would be very fun for her.

I bought some cup hooks and got a permanent black pen from the pen pot on the shelf.

Rubber ducks

I screwed the cup hook into the duck’s head.

Duck with large hook

But we had a bit of a problem as the duck sank with the weight of the hook.

Sunken duck

I tried to position the hook in a different place to see if that would help.

Duck with a hook in the neck

But no, it still sank!

Sunken duck

I then bought some smaller hooks to reduce the weight.

Big hook little hook

I screwed it into the duck’s head…

Floating duck

Yes!! It floated!

F wanted to have a go at putting the hooks in the rubber ducks but she did find it very hard.

F putting hooks in the duck

Once the ducks had their hooks F thought it was a good time to have a play.

Playing with the ducks

She loved hooking them together and lining them up with their beaks facing each other.

Ducks lined up

Here are the finished rubber ducks.

Rubber ducks with numbers

Hubbie made fishing rod from a length of wood and one of the too large hooks. At first I thought it should be a traditional fishing rod with a length of string with a hook on the end but when I saw F struggle to coordinate both cup hooks he’d made the right decision. We can always add a length of string when she gets better.

Hook a rubber duck

F spent a lot of the afternoon playing with the rubber ducks which, knowing her, isn’t really surprising!

Playing with the ducks

At bedtime F was very excited to put the ducks into her bath. The bathroom light didn’t want to work (I’m assuming the bulb has blown) so Hubbie bought up a lighted candle which was the most wonderful thing in the world. T wanted to come in for a bath too so they put all the rubber ducks in and jumped in the tub.


F was excited that 14 is big brother O’s (age) number and she wanted to show me that she could use the teen numbers by counting to 20. I think she’ll have it cracked in a couple of weeks.


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