Who would have thought making and playing with nature boats could be so fun?!
Every child should experience the achievement of making a boat using natural materials and then watch it floating down a trickling creek.
Why make nature boats?
- Nature boats are simple to make
- You only need a few materials
- There’s learning to be had (see the benefits below)
- It gets your children outside
- It’s something your children will always remember!
Make our nature boats
There are so many ways you can make nature boats but here’s how we made ours.
- big leaves
- seed pod
- glue gun
Using a glue gun, glue the stick to the seed pod. Punch two holes through the leaf, one at the top and one at the bottom (see image). Thread the leaf through the stick to make the sail. Decorate by punching a decorative hole through the sail (optional). We added the decorations so that we could tell whose boat was whose.
You can substitute the materials above quite easily too. Nature boats can be made from anything and everything in nature. Get creative and try using bark, small branches, seashells and more!
Do I have to float my boat down a creek?
I would highly recommend taking your boat to a running creek like we did. It really does make the experience magical, but if you don’t have one near you, why not make your own by creating a ditch and using a hose to create some trickling water?
Children can also play with their nature boats in the bath!
Learning through play:
You children will learn a great deal making and playing with nature boats. Probably more than you’d ever expect!
- They learn about parts of a boat. Talk about parts of a boat including the boat’s mast, sail, bow and stern etc. Discuss what each do and how it keeps the boat floating and moving forward.
- Fine and Gross motor skills. Children firstly develop fine motor skills while making their boat and secondly they develop gross motor skills navigating down the creek beds and playing with their boats in the creek.
- Understanding creeks and water flow. Talk about creeks, why they run and where all the water comes from. You can also talk about the effects that would occur if the rain stopped.
- Nature is fun. This is really what matters to most of us isn’t it. We just want our children to have an innocent playful childhood and connect with nature.
I’m sure you’re convinced you make nature boats and go to a little creek to sail them with your children. It’s a really is an experience your children won’t ever forget and it saddens me to think that so many children haven’t had this experience in their young life.
Try more simple, active activities that bring real joy to the faces of your children. Get out there!