Boats, Boats, Boats

Let’s learn about boats this summer! These hands-on activities will get children building, experimenting, and playing with science.
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Children are fascinated by cars, trains, trucks—and of course boats! In this multi-session activity, we’ll build our own boats, make them float, and explore buoyancy as we play “sink or float” games. We’ll develop language as we talk and look at pictures of different boats—scooters, tugboats, ferries, kayaks. We’ll also read books and sings songs about boats. The perfect activity for your little boat lover!

Materials

- Art Supplies (mini sponges, chopsticks, foam craft paper, popsicle stickles, straws, milk carton, juice box, crayons, tape, glue, and/or scissors)
- Basin, penny, marble, plastic bottle cap, lego piece, spoon, toy car, and/or small toys.
- Sailboat diagram, boat language cards, world map, books, and/or songs.

Disclaimer

As parents, it's important to make sure that activities are age appropriate and that allergies or medical conditions are communicated as you see fit.

Sometimes, a materials or other additional fee is charged. We do this to bring you the best possible activities. It's the Kid Expert's job to confirm any such fee in advance.

Sample Activities and Instructions

Build a Boat – Using a sponge, chopstick, and foam craft paper we’ll make our own sailboats. We might glue popsicle sticks or straws together to build a raft. Or cut out a milk carton or juice box to create a larger boat that we can decorate. Whatever the method, we’ll put on our engineering hats as we construct our very own boats!
Make It Float – I’ll fill a basin with water then your little one will carefully place the boat(s) we made into the water. We’ll watch the boat(s) float. We’ll make gentle waves with our hands and blow on the sail to create a gust of wind. Finally, we'll place small toy people or animals inside the boat(s) and host a boat race! Don’t worry about spills, I’ll clean up afterwards.
Sink or Float – We’ll explore the properties of water as we drop a penny or marble into the basin and watch it sink. We’ll drop a plastic bottle cap or straw and watch it float. We’ll discuss why some objects sink while other floats and play a fun game of predictions as we guess which objects (i.e. lego, spoon, chopstick, toy car) will sink and which will float.
Language Fun – Using a diagram, we’ll discuss the different parts of a sailboat—sail, mast, keel. Afterwards, your little one will color in the picture. We can use language cards to learn about different types of boats—scooters, tugboats, ferries, kayaks. Or construct a paper boat and sail it over a map of the world, discussing the oceans, continents, and countries as we glide along. Throughout this activity, we’ll read stories about boats like “Toy Boat” by Randall de Seve and sings songs like “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”