Support for PBS Parents provided by:

NEWNatureCat_Banner.jpg

DIY Sail Boat

Boat_Product.jpg

Let's catch the wind! Wind is air in motion. It can keep a kite in high in the sky and push a boat right across the water. Help your child explore the concept of with with their very own DIY sailboat.


Materials

Boat_Materials.jpg

11 sticks all about the same length and thinkness (about 9 inches long)
1 thin, short stick (about 7 inches long)
1 thin, short stick (about 4 inches long)
Rubber bands
Twist ties
Safety scissors
Waterproof glue or three thumbtacks
Large leaf or lightweight piece of fabric (such as a rag)
Twine (optional)

Directions
Boat_Step_3.jpg
1. First build the mast. Make a lower case "t" shape with your two shorter sticks. Cross the 4-inch stick over the 7-inch stick about three inches from the top.
2. Lay the twist ties in an "X" underneath the crossed sticks. There should be an even amount of the twist tie on the each side of the sticks. Twist the ties together.
3. You should now see an "X" made of the twist ties, crossed over your two sticks (see photo above). Repeat this step over the same sticks to keep them in place.
4. To make the sail, find a large leaf outside, or cut some fabric into a square shape. It should be about the same width as the stick running across and a little more than half of the length of the longer stick.
5. Attach your sail with the waterproof glue across the "t" or place a thumbtack near the top and on either side of the stick running across. Set aside.
6. To make the base of your boat, gather your rubber bands and sticks. The rubber bands will be used to attach the sticks to each other.

Boat_Step_4.jpg
7. Place one of your long sticks through a rubber band. Twist the remaining piece of rubber band twice so the stick feels secure. Insert another long stick into the empty loop of the same rubber band and twist twice. Repeat with long sticks until you have at leaset 5 joined together and the rubber band feels right around all of the sticks.
8. Repeat step 7 on the opposite end of the sticks. Make sure they are joined together and can lay flat.

Boat_Step_9.jpg
9. Make another bundle with four sticks joining the sticks on both ends. This time, loop an extra rubber band around the last stick.
10. Lay the bundles next to each other using the extra rubber band you just looped to connect the two bundles together.

Boat_Step_11.jpg

11. To finish the base of your boat, take your two remaining long sticks and lay them vertically. Place the connected sticks horizontally over them. Using your rubber bands or twist ties, tie the corners of your boat base to the tops and bottoms of the two sticks beneath them.

Boat_Step_12.jpg
12. Use the twist ties and attach the mast to your first stick at the front of your raft. The tiller should be attached at the middle of the stick.
13. Tie a long length of twine to the bottom of the tiller. (This will help you steer the boat!)

Take It Further

Have your child use the boat to see which direction the wind is coming from. What happens when the boat is facing the wind? What happens when the wind is coming from behind the boat?

Produced by:
Funded by:

What's this?

Sign up for free newsletters.

Connect with Us