Some children will come up with almost any excuse to play in, or near, water. By engaging them in a host of unique boat crafts and STEM activities, you give them an opportunity to do so, as well as develop their fine motor skills along the way! Indulge your little ones in a few of our favorite crafts and activities; perfectly suited to any boat-loving, water-mad child!
1. Nature Boats
Nature is full of great crafting material; children just have to look for it! It doesn’t take long to stumble through your local park and find assorted materials that can be used to build a nature boat. These nature boats were made of big leaves, sticks, and seed pods, and then pieced together using hot glue.
Learn More: Mother Natured
2. Easter Egg Boat
These colorful plastic eggs can be used in many awesome boat crafts. You only need plastic eggs, foam sheets, drinking straws, and hot glue to bring them to life and float the day away.
Learn More: Happy Toddler Playtime
3. Water Bottle Boat
This fun craft is easy enough for your kids to make on their own. All they need are water bottles, cardboard, and pieces of duct tape to make a funky floating contraption. Feel free to add a toy sailor to steer the ship once it’s constructed!
Learn More: PBS
4. Juice Box Boat
Don’t throw away those empty juice boxes! You can turn these recyclables into reusable boats. You can make the sail mast using colorful straws and paper and then let your kids paint their boats to make them even fancier.
Learn More: Made With Happy
5. Sardine Can Boat
I love that many of these crafts can be made out of recycled materials. This one is made using a sardine can, wine cork, tape, and some other household materials. Taping a heavy nail to the bottom can help keep the boat upright and afloat.
Learn More: Artists Helping Children
6. Boat in a Nutshell
Check out these adorable walnut boats! You can make these using half of a shell and filling it with clay or any other moldable material. Stick a toothpick with a paper flag into the boat and place it into a body of water to float about.
Learn More: Crafts Ü Print
7. Sponge Bath Boat Toy
This isn’t your ordinary kitchen sponge boat. Using different colored sponges you can make this deluxe sponge boat with a googly-eyed crew. Consider using leftover sponges as icebergs in your tub of water.
Learn More: Handmade Charlotte
8. Sponge Pirate Ship
You can make a specialized pirate ship out of sponges for a fun bathtime toy. This tutorial walks you through just how to do this; from cutting up the sponges to putting it all together using a BBQ skewer.
Learn More: Pirate Pete
9. Clothespin Pirate Ship
This sweet pirate ship craft is cute and simple to make. However, they won’t be the best option if you want a pirate boat that will actually float. You can make these using clothespins, craft sticks, cardstock, and a skull paper punch.
Learn More: Crafting A Fun Life
10. Craft Stick Peg Doll Boat
Here’s a creative popsicle stick and foam fusion boat that your kids could have fun personalizing. They can glue the foam blocks and popsicle sticks together, and then paint the peg doll as their favorite character.
Learn More: Rhythms of Play
11. Layered Popsicle Stick Boat
This isn’t just an ordinary popsicle stick boat! Your kids stack popsicle sticks in a diamond shape to make a canoe-style boat. They can use any extra popsicle sticks as oars.
Learn More: Crafty Sticks
12. Simple Preschool Boat Craft
Here’s a nice and easy boat craft for your preschoolers to enjoy. It requires only a handful of simple supplies; an egg carton, a paper towel roll, tissue paper, glue, and tape. You can let your kids paint and decorate their boats as they, please!
Learn More: No Time For Flash Cards
13. Easy Paper Boat Craft
Boat crafts that you can float in the water are great, but classic paper boat crafts that can be used as décor, are just as lovely! All you need is some paper, popsicle sticks, and crayons to get started!
Learn More: I Heart Crafty Things
14. Footprint Boat
Here’s a fun and creative idea! Your kids can dip their feet in paint and stomp their colorful footprints all over a piece of cardstock. Attach a craft stick mast and cut-up grocery bag for the sail and voilà- you will have a one-of-a-kind boat.
Learn More: Craftulate
15. Boat Collage
Pick up a few sailing magazines at your local used bookshop. Browsing these magazines can be an exciting experience for your kids to discover all the different boats in the real world. They can cut and glue their favorites onto a tissue paper sea.
Learn More: Craftulate
16. Cardboard Oil Powered Sailboat Craft
This simple sailboat is made of cardboard, paper, and tape. The cool STEM component is how you get the boat to move. By dropping oil into the notch, the oil and water will repel each other and cause the boat to move.
Learn More: Artists Helping Children
17. Baking Soda Powered Boat
Here’s another science-powered boat project for your learners to try out. Add vinegar and baking soda to a bottle with a straw poking out the end to make this soda bottle boat. Once the ingredients mix, learners will enjoy marveling at an exciting chemical reaction that causes the boat to move!
Learn More: Science Sparks
18. Wind-Powered Boat Eggsperiment
Tape a blown-up balloon to a plastic egg to try this experiment. When your kid releases the balloon, the air will shoot out and the boat will move.
Learn More: Theresa A
19. Elastic Band Paddle Boat
This advanced boat craft is a good choice for your middle school students. Building it requires cutting up craft sticks, drilling small holes, and using lots of hot glue. The cool part about this boat is winding up the rubber band to make the boat propel itself.
Learn More: DaveHax
20. DIY Boat From Popsicle Sticks
Some of your older kids may be looking for a bigger building challenge. This advanced popsicle stick boat could be just that! They can try to create their own complex and unique popsicle stick boat.
Learn More: AM Channel Rp
21. Tin Foil Boat Science Experiment
Boats can be great for teaching buoyancy; the tendency of an object to float in water. Your kids can use the video instructions to fold together a tin foil boat. Then, they can test how many pennies it will take to sink the ship.
Learn More: KSU iTeach
22. Simple Boat Science Experiment
Buoyancy can be tested on different types of boats. Your learners can design their own boat or follow this simple popsicle stick craft in the web link below. How many rocks will it take to sink this boat?
Learn More: East Coast Mommy
23. Duct Tape Boat Races
Duct tape comes in so many exciting patterns. It can be awesome for making colorful boat crafts. Your kids can follow the folding instructions to make these duct tape-covered paper boats. When complete, they can use straws to race their boats across a body of water.
Learn More: Mess For Less
24. Read “Busy Boats”
Here’s an awesome preschool boat book that can be used to teach students all about real-life boats. It talks about sailboats, rowboats, motorboats, and more!
Learn More: Amazon
Nothing beats taking a trip on a real boat! With so many options for boat trips, perhaps you could take your kids to the lake and paddle around on a row boat.
Learn More: Get My Boat