Rubber Duckie Day is a quirky holiday that brings smiles to the faces of people of all ages. Celebrated on January 13th each year, it’s a fun day to let loose your inner child and enjoy bath time with rubber duckies. Here’s an extensive overview of how to make the most of Rubber Duckie Day and have fun floating your boat!

A Brief History of Rubber Duckies

Rubber ducks have been around since the late 1800s, but they really took off in popularity after Ernie sang “Rubber Duckie” on Sesame Street in 1970. Since then, rubber duckies have become a beloved bath-time toy and collected by duckie enthusiasts around the world. Rubber Duckie Day was created in the early 2000s to honor these cute bathtub buddies.

Fun Ways to Celebrate Rubber Duckie Day

There are so many creative ways to celebrate Rubber Duckie Day and enjoy some lighthearted fun with rubber ducks. Here are some ideas:

Bathtub Duckie Party

Gather all your rubber duckies and let them float freely in the tub! Sing “Rubber Duckie” and squirt each other with water toys. Make it a bubble bath for extra fun. For a party vibe, decorate the bathroom with streamers and serve bathtub snacks like orange slices or cupcakes.

Duckie Race

Get some friends together and have a duckie race competition. Designate a start and finish line and let ducks float to see whose reaches the end first. Give prizes for the fastest duckies.

Duckie Photo Shoot

Set up cute rubber duckie scenes and take funny photos. Dress them up, pose them with toys, or create mini environments. Share your best duckie pics on social media in honor of the holiday.

Duckie Crafts

Get creative with arts and crafts projects featuring rubber duckies. Ideas include duckie wreaths, rubber ducky centerpieces, painted and glittered ducks, duckie candle holders, and more. Make them as gifts or decorations.

Rubber Ducky Fashion Show

Show off rubber ducky styles by creating tiny costumes and props and having an imaginary duckie fashion show. Go all out with themes like beach party ducks, superhero ducks, princess ducks and more.

Ducky Desserts

Incorporate rubber duckies into your baking and desserts. Make duck-shaped cookies, cakes decorated like ducks, or jello molds. Use duckie cupcake toppers, place ducks on top of pies, and stick pretzels in ice cream to look like beaks.

Duckie Scavenger Hunt

Hide rubber ducks around your home and hold a scavenger hunt to find them all. Give clues about locations and let kids search high and low for the duckies. Customize the hunt for different ages.

Educational Activities

Use rubber duckies to support early learning. Practicing counting with ducks in the tub, sorting by size/color, naming duck body parts, matching uppercase/lowercase letters, and more.

Origin Stories: How Rubber Ducks Were Invented

Rubber ducks have an interesting history dating back to the late 1800s. Here are the highlights of how they came to be:

  • Squeak Toy Origins: Rubber squeak toys resembling animals first appeared in the late 1800s after Charles Goodyear invented vulcanized rubber. This allowed rubber to be shaped into 3D forms.
  • Early Bath Toys: By the early 1900s companies were producing simple rubber bath toys including ducks. These were made of all rubber without separate moving parts.
  • First Patent: The first rubber duck patent was filed in 1949 by Peter Ganine for a molded plastic duck with movable head and feet. This allowed the classic floating and bobbing motion.
  • Manufacturing Growth: By the 1950s companies like Knickerbocker were mass producing vinyl rubber ducks. Their popularity as bath toys grew significantly over the next decades.
  • Pop Culture Spotlight: Ernie’s 1970 song “Rubber Duckie” on Sesame Street cemented their status as an iconic childhood bath-time toy.
  • Collecting Craze: Rubber duck collecting surged in the 1990s which led to the creation of limited edition and commemorative ducks. Rare vintage ducks also became sought after.

So in just over a century, basic rubber bath toys evolved into the favorite duckies we know and love today!

Popular Types of Rubber Duckies

Part of the fun of rubber duck collecting is the endless variety available today. Some popular types include:

  • Classic Yellow Duck: The traditional yellow duck with orange beak and feet is the most recognizable. These come in sizes from tiny to giant.
  • Character Ducks: Duck versions of popular characters like Darth Vader, Elsa, Batman, Mickey Mouse and more bring personality.
  • Artist Ducks: Some companies create rubber ducks inspired by famous artists like Van Gogh and Frida Kahlo with artsy designs.
  • Career Ducks: You can get ducks dressed as various professions like doctors, firefighters, teachers, chefs and more.
  • Holiday Ducks: Seasonal duck designs represent Christmas, Halloween, Easter and other holidays. Great for seasonal bath time fun.
  • Glow-in-Dark Ducks: Some ducks have glow-in-dark features where the eyes and belly light up at night for a fun effect.
  • Giant Ducks: For oversized fun, giant rubber ducks up to 3 feet tall make quite a statement in the tub.
  • Ornamental Ducks: Mini rubber ducks made as Christmas tree ornaments or display pieces are collectible.

No matter your interests, there’s sure to be a perfect duckie out there calling your name!

Fun Facts About Rubber Ducks

Beyond their appeal as a toy, rubber ducks have some fascinating facts and records associated with them. Did you know:

  • The world’s largest rubber duck was over 61 feet tall and weighed over 11 tons. It traveled harbors as a floating art installation.
  • A rubber ducky was included in a 2019 time capsule aboard SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket to orbit the Sun for millions of years.
  • The first rubber duck races were held in 1970s England to raise funds for charity. This led to the creation of competitive duck derbies around the world.
  • Rubber ducks were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2013 in recognition of their longevity and popularity.
  • The largest rubber duck collection belongs to Charlotte Lee of England with over 56,000 ducks as of 2013.
  • Ernie’s original rubber ducky from Sesame Street sold at auction in 2019 for over $20,000.
  • September 7th is National Rubber Ducky Day in the United States, another day to appreciate ducks.

Who knew simple little rubber ducks had such big and fascinating histories behind them?

Troubleshooting Your Duckies: Cleaning and Repair Tips

To make your rubber duckies last, here are some tips for cleaning and repairing them:


  • Rinse with warm water and dish soap. Avoid harsh cleaners which can damage the rubber.
  • Use a soft bristle brush to scrub away any stuck-on gunk or residue.
  • For tough stains, try baking soda and vinegar mixed into a paste.
  • Disinfect periodically by soaking in a vinegar/water solution.
  • Rinse thoroughly and air dry fully upside down to prevent mold.


  • Superglue can reattach a beak or feet that have fallen off. Hold in place until bonded.
  • Use waterproof silicone sealant for cracks and holes. Let fully cure before water exposure.
  • Patch major cuts and tears with rubber cement then smooth edges when dry.
  • Replace squeakers lost from punctures. Carefully cut and pry the old one out and insert new.

With a little care, your duckies can stay in great shape while floating your boat on Rubber Duckie Day for years to come!


Rubber Duckie Day offers a chance for some whimsical fun by honoring childhood bath-time favorites. With a myriad of duck styles and endless creative ways to include them, it’s a holiday sure to make anyone smile. Celebrate by gathering your duckies for a tub party, having some ducky fun with crafts and baking, displaying your collection, or learning more duck history. However you choose to enjoy the day, let your inner child free and have a splashing good time with the duckies!