Friday, July 29, 2011

Recycled Boat

Got cardboard, a couple empty plastic bottles, an egg carton and a stick? Then you’re ready to make a boat! When I saw this idea on, I knew we HAD to try it. After a trip to the yard and garage for some supplies, all we had to do was fire up our hot glue gun and we were ready to embark on our boating adventure.

Because this project is all about turning something unusual into a boat, we started the activity with a book about a boy who fills the bathtub a little too full. My son read Janie Spaht Gill’s “The Tub That Became a Boat,” a predictable word book, with ease.

Then I read to him Richard Scarry’s “Busytown Boat Race,” another book about silly boats made from all sorts of unpredictable things. (My favorite is the mice’s swiss cheese sailboat!)

Now it was time to start on a project I knew would really float my son’s boat. (Yes, I do love a cheesy, well-placed pun.) I cut a box of diapers (courtesy of our youngest son) into two cardboard shapes – one in a square, the other in a triangle (for our sail). I poked holes in the “sail” so he could thread the stick through.

My son painted the cardboard sail with acrylic craft paint.

Then I drew two parallel lines on the bottom of the cardboard square and supervised my son in the use of a hot glue gun. (Note: NEVER let your child use this tool without your guidance. The burns can be wicked!) We placed our Gatorade bottles (with caps on) on top of the glue. Next we glued on part of an egg carton, threaded the stick through the sail, and poked the stick through the egg carton and down through the cardboard base.

The only thing left to do was set sail (in our bathtub). When we tested it out, my son rather matter-of-factly explained to me that the bottles were filled with air, which is why it floated. Holy cow, he remembered that little nugget of info from our Will it Float or Sink activity!

My son had fun adding a few bathtub squirty toys to the boats’ egg carton seats. (Can you see Sandman taking a ride in the picture up above?)

To wrap up our boating activity (or should I say “expedition?”), I read Tony Mitton and Ant Parker’s book “Busy Boats,” which introduced us to all different types of boats.

Happy sailing!

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