Rubber Duck Painting Sensory Activity

This rubber duck painting activity was a fun creative art idea and sensory play activity using our water table and just water colors. This creative painting activity is a fun one! While using these paint materials won’t permanently paint the rubber duck, it is a great fine motor and sensory play activity for kids! Below you’ll see how to paint a rubber duck while developing skills in kids with a fun summer sensory play activity.

Rubber Duck Painting

This sensory play activity is one we did years ago when my kids were small. While they had fun with the creative painting activity, they didn’t realize that at the same time, they were developing so many skills:

All we used were a few materials for this rubber duck painting activity:

  1. Water table
  2. Water
  3. Paint brushes
  4. Watercolors
  5. Rubber ducks

How to Paint a Rubber Duck

Watercolors are such a fun way to explore color and just have fun!  When the kids ask to paint, it’s usually watercolors that they want. 

Baby Girl has recently been loving to paint with watercolors.  So, when I pulled out the water colors and the water table, there was a little confusion and a lot of intrigue!   

We painted rubber ducks in the water table for a fun twist on creating art and exploring colors.  The best part was, the easy clean up…right in the water table!  

Use watercolors to paint toys in the watertable.  Wash them off when done. So much fun!

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Paint rubber ducks on the water table

I pulled out a bunch of our rubber ducks (affiliate link) that we have in different sizes and put them in the water table along with watercolors and a few little cups of water. 

How to paint rubber ducks for a sensory activity with kids.

When the kids saw this, they were very excited….and a little confused.  I showed them how to paint the rubber ducks and mix colors on the toys.  The fun began!

Paint rubber ducks with watercolors

  We started out painting some of the rubber ducks all one color, and then mixing in other colors.

How to paint a rubber duck

  Baby Girl painted her rubber ducks her favorite color-purple.

Paint rubber ducks with kids

  This was such a fun way to paint and explore colors on a hot summer day.  These two were pretty serious about their painting.

Rubber duck painting with kids

  Mixing colors on the toys was so much fun!  This rubber duck got a lot of color. 

Rubber duck painting activity with kids

And this one, not so much.  We learned that less water and more paint made the colors stay put on the toys. 

Rubber duck painting is a fun sensory activity for kids using a water table.

  We had a little audience for our painting activity.   The big kids got a kick out of her rubber duckie pajamas that matched.  SO cute!

Rubber duck painting sensory activity for kids

When we were finished with our paining, we gave the ducks a little bath in the containers of water.  Perfect for the water table!

Sensory play to wash the paint off the rubber duck toys

  We left the paints and the toys out on the water table for a while and came back to painting and rinsing all afternoon.

Rubber ducks and watercolor paints
Rubber duck in watercolor water

What other toys can you bring into this painting activity?  I’m thinking we’ll bring this watercolor toy painting activity out again with lots of other toys.   It was a big hit!

Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to

Paint rubber ducks