Building Boats

The activity

The activity Share some pictures and/or models of different types of boats and ask your child why they think the boats float. Do sink or float experiments to test various objects. After testing objects, ask your child to plan what materials they will need to make their own boats. Encourage them to draw blueprints before they begin building. After their boats are complete they can test their boats to see if they will float.

Open-Ended Questions

• What do you notice about the different boats?

• What things are the same or different?

• Why do some objects float?

• How could you get the boat to move?

This activity supports children to:

Examine, describe, compare and contrast the physical properties of materials and explore how objects can move in space. 

Children learn it by:

Seeing which objects float or sink and using found objects to create boats.

Materials Needed

• Various materials such as cardboard, disposable plates, paper, straws, tape, glue, plastic food trays, foil trays, butter or margarine tubs.

• Pictures or models of different types of boats


Ask your child to work out how they can get their boats to move in the water and have a boat race.

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