Sunday, 25 August 2013

Make a sail boat: Center Parcs' August Challenge

Every month Center Parcs sets a new challenge for bloggers to partake in with their families.  It's really great because it gives me direction for new things to try out with my children.  This month the challenge was to construct and decorate your own sail boat

With my newly founded love of Pinterest, I browsed until I found some fun sailing projects we could do and our crafty day began.  Bearing in mind that my four year old son had fallen down the stairs the day before and had twisted his ankle this gave us a good opportunity for some new bathtime fun ideas rather than being able to go to the local pond to test out our ideas (which would have been lovely).

First up, we made a very special kind of boat; an ice boat!

This was a brilliant project as it allowed for lots of sensory play activities.  All that is needed for this project is:

  • some cocktail  sticks
  • an ice cube tray
  • food colourings 
  • tape
  • water
  • paper cut in to shapes for the flags.
My son loved mixing in the food colouring; whirling and swirling until the water turned a vibrant orange or mysterious midnight black.  It was also a chance for him to see what happened when certain colours mixed together and if we gently overfilled one ice-cube block then we got a delicate twirl of colour in the middle of the next ice-cube block.  The effect reminded us of planets in the galaxy.

The most challenging part of this project was to get the cocktail sticks to remain upright.  After an hour if the water has solidified you can insert your cocktail sticks, if they tip over at first just keep checking every 15 minutes until you have propped all of the sticks in the centre.  When they have solidified totally they are ready for action, and all that remains to be done is taping on the little flags (which does need to be done with relative speed before the ice-cubes melt.)

This activity is a good way to teach children the properties of ice and water.  It's also great fun for them to see all the colours merge at the end; we ended up with one murky blue bath! Great fun!

But our fun didn't end there!  We also made some paper boats (well I did, the origami was too complicated for a four year old. But he did enjoy decorating them.)  And also a lollypop stick raft.

The lollypop raft is really easy to make for kids.  They just have to glue lots of lollypop sticks together and stick in a cocktail stick with flag in the middle and leave to dry.  It worked perfectly. and because we used pre-coloured lollypop sticks we also got some lovely colours merging in to the water.  

The paper boats I made with instructions from Wikihow.  It was so much easier being able to follow these visual instructions.  As you can see from the above photos, they all went down a big success.

To finish off the day, my husband bought our little boy some new water toys and we done some sail boat rubber stamping and made a lovely paper boat picture!  What a fun day we had completing these activities!

This post is an entry in the Centre Parcs August challenge with Tots 100