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DIY Regatta Race

With a few basic supplies, you and your child can make a wide-variety of boats to sail. Once you create the boats, host your own regatta in a plastic tub, a kiddie pool, or a puddle.

Add Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) by creating an engineering challenge.

  • Challenge Inquiry – Design a boat that will float and hold the weight of 5 pennies.
  • Planning – Brainstorm ideas to build a boat that floats across the entire tub without sinking.
  • Design – Create a sketch of your construction.
  • Build – Construct your boat.
  • Test – Sail your boat. Observe and make adjustments and modifications if necessary.

Or ask thought provoking questions such as:

  • Which boat will float longer?
  • Why did it float longer than the other boats?
  • What could you do to make a boat more buoyant?
  • Home many pennies cause your boat to sink?
  • What tools could be used to create wind?
  • What would happen if you added wind?

Your child will be engaged and having fun, not even aware that she is learning.

Download PDF



Milk Carton Sailboat

For this project, you will need:

  • 1 Empty Milk Carton (we used quart size, but you could also use pint size)
  • Duct Tape/Washi Tape (colored for fun)
  • Construction Paper
  • Drinking Straws or Dowels
  • Hole Puncher
  • Scissors

To make the milk carton boat:

  • Step 1: Cut a rectangular side panel out of the empty milk carton. (This side will be facing up when carton is placed in the water)
  • Step 2: Cover outside of milk carton in duct tape.
  • Step 3: Using scissors, cut the construction paper into equal fourths.
  • Step 4: Punch holes in top and bottom of 2 of the pieces of paper.
  • Step 5: Thread paper through drinking straws to create sails on masts.
  • Step 6: Securely, tape straws to inside of milk carton.



Pool Noodle Boat

For this project, you will need:

  • Pool Noodle
  • Colorful Cardstock, Thick Paper, or Foam Craft Sheets
  • Packaging Tape
  • Scissors
  • Markers or Stickers
  • Wooden Skewers, Dowels, or Craft Sticks
  • Washi Tape or Duct Tape

To make the pool noodle boat:

  • Step 1: Using a scissors, cut your pool noodle into two-inch slices.
  • Step 2: Cut a square piece of cardstock, thick paper, or foam craft sheets diagonally in half to make two triangles. These are your sails.
  • Step 3: Decorate your sails with markers or stickers. Once decorated, cover your sails with packaging tape on both sides to make them water resistant.
  • Step 4: Poke two holes in your sail.
  • Step 5: Thread the dowel through the sail and into the pool noodle slice.
  • Step 6: Finish the top with a washi tape or duct tape flag.



Ivory Soap Boat

For this project, you will need:

  • A Bar of Ivory Soap
  • Craft Stick
  • Craft Sheets or Colored Paper
  • Markers, Crayons, or Stickers
  • Tape

To make the ivory soap boat:

  • Step 1:Use scissors to cut craft sheets or colored paper into a sail.
  • Step 2: Decorate the sail with markers, crayons, or stickers.
  • Step 3: Tape the sail to the craft stick.
  • Step 4: Insert craft stick into the Ivory bar of soap.



Sponge Boat

For this project, you will need:

  • Kitchen Sponges (or an ordinary thick sponge would also work)
  • Craft Sticks
  • Duct Tape
  • Ruler
  • Scissors

To make the sponge boat:

  • Step 1: Cut the tip of your sponge into a pointy end using scissors. Use a ruler to measure and make the sides even.
  • Step 2: Using your scissors, cut a small horizontal slit in the sponge for the mast (the craft stick) to be placed.
  • Step 3: Make the sail. Lay down a piece of duct tape, then stick a second piece of next to it also upside down but overlapping. It should be about the same as the width as the sponge. Stick a second layer of tape down over the first, so that the sticky side faces down, and the sail is smooth on both sides.
  • Step 4: Use scissors to trim the edges of the sail. Make it roughly a square shape.
  • Step 5: Place two small pieces of duct tape around the craft stick mast at the top and close to the bottom where the base of the sail will sit. This helps to keep sail in place.
  • Step 6: Use your scissors to cut a small horizontal slit at the top and bottom of the sail.
  • Step 7: Thread the duct tape sail through the slits to make a curved mast.



Tin Foil River

For this project, you will need:

  • Aluminum Foil
  • Garden Hose and Water

To make the sponge boat:

  • Step 1:Tear off a long sheet of aluminum foil.
  • Step 2: Place it on the ground.
  • Step 3: Roll up the sides to keep the water from spilling out.
  • Step 4: Add water with a garden hose.
  • Step 5: Use the boats you created to begin the Regatta Race!

Let the races begin!

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