Monday, June 30, 2014

Let's Build Boats! (Engineering with Kids)

Lately we've been reading books on pirates around here.  Arrrrgh maties!  So I thought it would be fun if we tried our hands at building some boats from everyday materials.  (I saw a similar idea from i2camp's Instagram feed and really wanted to try it out.)  This was a fun engineering activity that required very little prep and just used random items from our crafting and recycling bins.

Kids' Engineering:  Let's Build Boats!

Kids Engineering- Let's build boats!
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Building Toy Boats with Kids

Let's build boats with kids (easy engineering project)

1.  Grab some materials.  We used strawsscissors, various types of tape, styrofoam food plates, cups, and paper.

2.  Decide on a challenge.  We decided that we had to create boats that a) could float in water, b) carry a bunch of pennies, and c) carry a toy car.

3.  Then, get to work!  While hubby and I made boats, Chuck got to work cutting up straws to create colorful debris for our water. We didn't give ourselves a time limit, but that probably would have been a fun challenge.

4.  Fill up the tub with water (and blue food coloring) and test out your boats!

Here are the boats that we made:  

Kids' Engineering- Build boats!


Not all of the boats were quite water ready and designs had to be tweaked.  I thought the straw raft would be our best bet, but surprisingly it sunk once we placed the toy car on it.  (I guess the water filled into the straws' openings?)

Kids Engineering- Let's build boats with kids

As you could probably guess, Chuck just had fun trying out all the boats and playing with the water.

Building boats- Kids' engineering


I really enjoyed this activity because it was pretty open ended.  Hubby and I came up with completely different solutions for the problem, so it was neat to see other people's creative processes.

Oh yeah, if you liked this activity, you can also try making a shampoo bottle boat too!

Happy engineering, friends!

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