Monday, July 13, 2015

Cork Boats

Enjoying the outdoors with a 'toy' is always a great way to engage a child, even those children who might not find nature a favorite past time or find 'toys' to young. Often times while playing around they begin to notice the world around them, find critters, see the trees and water ways... slowly they are engaging without even being aware of it. And, when nature is involved for older students they find creating something like a cork boat or twig raft -- seems to feel more natural and enjoyable, inviting the love of play. I find adults cannot resist this activity!

A favorite project of ours is to make cork boats to play with in a little stream or even the edge of a pond or small lake. They are quite simple to assemble outdoors, require little materials, can include natural elements and hold up well.

List of supplies for each boat

3 wine corks, used or new work fine
2 thick rubber bands
1 small eye hook
several feet of string or yarn
1 toothpick
1 foam or paper 'sail'

Taking your three corks line them up and then wrap a rubber band on each side, two total, to hold them together flat. Make sure the rubber bands are nice and tight. Then screw a small eye hook in one end of the boat. Tie your string or yarn to the eye hook this is to hold on to the boat, so it doesn't get away. Finally, create a small sail for the boat out of either paper or small colored foam sheets (preferred method) and add it with a toothpick poked into the top of the boat. You can easily add a leaf on a stick or wrap your string onto a stick handle  - small ways to add nature into your projects. For you older students you can invite them to gather small sticks and use the string/yarn to assemble a traditional 'raft' concept too. Then play and enjoy! Super easy, just requires preparing materials ahead of time.