Your children will love this simple invitation to create and explore with boats!
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 of boats, we read the book Little Tug by Steven Savage and then the children were invited to make two different types of boats.
Introducing a Story
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.
It is a great book for promoting discussion on the different kinds of boats illustrated throughout the book.
Expanding on the Story
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.
At the other boat making station, the children found wine corks (purchased by the bag full), rubber bands, craft foam, and toothpicks.
Preparing their Boats
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.
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.
Testing their Boats
As the children made each type of boat, they were invited to take them over to our lake and give them a spin.
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.
We had lots and lots of boat making and floating and pretend play going on all throughout the morning.
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.
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!
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