Making simple boats that float

We have been exploring a broad range of under-the-sea type things from sea animals to water to boats that float in the water. For our exploration in boats, we read the book Little Tug by Steven Savage and then the children were invited to make two different types of boats…

Making boats that float by Teach Preschool

Little Tug is a simple book with fun illustrations about the smallest boat in the water and all the ways Little Tug helps the big boats…

Making boats that float by Teach Preschool

It is a great book for promoting discussion on the different kinds of boats illustrated throughout the book…

 It is a great book for promoting discussion on the different kinds of boats illustrated throughout the book...

To extend our reading of Little Tug the children were invited to make their own boats using two different types of materials. At one table, the children found pieces of Styrofoam, scissors, markers, and toothpicks…

 Making boats that float by Teach Preschool

At the other boat making station, the children found wine corks (purchased by the bag full), rubber bands, craft foam, and toothpicks…

 Making boats that float by Teach Preschool

The children went right to work making their boats. The Styrofoam boats were the easiest because the children only needed to decorate the foam sheets, add a Styrofoam sail with a toothpick, and they were ready to go…

 Making boats that float by Teach Preschool

The wine cork boats were a little more challenging but only because the children had to wrap the corks with a rubber band to keep them in place then poke a toothpick through the craft foam to stand up on their boat…

 Making boats that float by Teach Preschool

 Making boats that float by Teach Preschool

As the children made each type of boat, they were invited to take them over to our lake and give them a spin…

 Making boats that float by Teach Preschool

To invite pretend play with the boats, we set small animals all around the lake that the children could put on their boats. The children decided to add some of our larger animals to the mix and soon found out that the big animals would fall off or sink their boats…

 Making boats that float by Teach Preschool

We had lots and lots of boat making and floating and pretend play going on all throughout the morning…

 Making boats that float by Teach Preschool

Since our cork boats wouldn’t hold the animals, the children preferred just to put those boats in their cubbies to take home and only play with the Styrofoam boats.  Some children, however, did try a little experimenting with both types of boats though…

 Making boats that float by Teach Preschool

This was a super fun day of exploring water, boats, floating, sinking, balance, wind, air, and sails. And talk about pretend play – the children took these animals on so many boat rides that I am quite sure most of the animals ended up a little sea-sick!

 Making boats that float by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

Exploring Sink or Float in Preschool

Ice Boats from Learning 4 Kids

Sink or Swim from Happy Whimsical Hearts

By |2013-05-22T16:00:34+00:00May 22nd, 2013|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.

9 Comments

  1. Betsy May 23, 2013 at 8:42 am - Reply

    Thank you! Doing it today since we are in the middle of our transportation unit! Where did you get the water tray?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. May 23, 2013 at 10:59 pm - Reply

      The big white water tub in the center of the table is a water tub used to put underneath a washing machine. I got mine from Home Depot!

  2. Eddie - The Usual Mayhem May 23, 2013 at 10:08 am - Reply

    Darn – I just threw out a bunch of corks, too. We have a lot of packing peanuts though! Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. May 23, 2013 at 11:00 pm - Reply

      Isn’t that how it always goes? As soon as I decide “I will never use this!” Some idea comes along:)

  3. Amber Rankin May 23, 2013 at 12:51 pm - Reply

    I love that you clarified that you bought your corks by the bagful! We did a picture frame cork project and one of my littles came back and asked me if I drink a lot of wine!!!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. May 23, 2013 at 11:00 pm - Reply

      Hahaha! Yes, I thought it might be best if I clarified:)

  4. Anita June 4, 2013 at 10:56 pm - Reply

    I love your classroom. Is that in your home? It’s so bright and inviting and age appropriate! Beautiful!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. June 4, 2013 at 11:38 pm - Reply

      Hi Anita,
      The classroom is on my property but not in my home. It is connected to our detached garage across the driveway from our house:)

  5. Jebina June 24, 2013 at 8:21 am - Reply

    Excellent Information. Loved to read this post. Its a Creative way for making boat which helps children learn through play.

    Thanks for sharing.

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