DIY Recycled Boats

The DoSeum is a place where interactive fun and hands-on learning come together—a place where minds are always at play.  During your visit, our exhibits, programs, and classes will encourage young minds to explore the joy of learning through connections to STEM, the arts, and literacy, but curiosity and exploration don't have to end when you leave!

Explore our DIY Activities, Storytimes, and Questions from Kids that were created for you to DO at home and stay connected with your family while keeping minds at play in between your visits!

To learn more about how you can help support your DoSeum, especially during these unprecedented times, please visit our SUPPORT page.



DIY Recycled Boats

Land Ho! Today we are making boats from recycled materials!  After a quick scavenger hunt for building materials, you can design, build, test, and redesign your boat until you have crafted the perfect vessel! Discover which materials float, which ones sink, and how you can harness the power of buoyancy to create your perfect boat. Little ones will love folding aluminum foil to make a boat and predicting which materials will sink or float. Older ones will love designing and crafting their perfect boat out of materials they can find in and around their home.  

Here is what you’ll need:  
  • Bowl or Bucket
  • Natural Objects (e.g., leaves, sticks, tree bark, flowers, rocks, etc.)
  • Recycled Material (e.g., cardboard boxes, egg cartons, paper, plastic cups, etc.)
  • Household Objects (e.g., aluminum foil, plastic utensils, bamboo skewers, etc.)
  • Craft Items (e.g., popsicle/craft sticks, pom poms, yarn, fabric, masking tape, hot glue, etc.)
  • Weights (e.g., coins, nuts and washers, rocks, magnets, beans, etc.)
  • Record-Keeping & Drawing Supplies (e.g., journal, pencils, crayons, etc.)
Building Tips and Tricks:  
  • This project is all about trial and error. Allow children to make their own predictions about the outcome of putting each boat in the water. They will either confirm their ideas or be pleasantly surprised.
  • Building a boat can be challenging, and that’s okay! If children are frustrated, allow them time to step away and do something that will guarantee success before coming back to the challenge. Perseverance is a good quality, but it’s also okay to take a break.
  • Making can be challenging for little hands. Help your child when asked but encourage them to complete as much of the project on their own as possible.
  • Folding a boat out of aluminum foil is a great way to experiment with boat shapes and their different purposes (e.g., a boat that holds a lot of weight versus a boat that is stable in turbulent water).

Ready to share your kids' recycled boat? Be sure to tag @TheDoSeum and use #DoSeumAtHome we love seeing all that you create! 


See all DIY Activities >  

  • K, Sci: §112.11.a.1, b.1, b.2.A-E
  • K, ELA: §110.2.b.1, b.3
  • 1st, Sci: §112.12.a.1.A, b.2.A-E
  • 1st, ELA: §110.3.b.1, b.3
  • 2nd, Sci: §112.13.a.1, b.2.A-F, b.3.A
  • 2nd, ELA: §110.4.b.1, b.3
  • 3rd, Sci: §112.14.b.2.B, b.2.F, b.5.A
  • 3rd, ELA: §110.5.b.1, b.1.A, .b.3
  • 4th, Sci: §112.15.b.2.A-B, b.5.A
  • 4th, ELA: §110.6.b.1, b.3, b.13.A
  • 5th, Sci: §112.16.b.2.C-D, b.5.A
  • 5th, ELA: §110.7.b.1-3

For more information on TEKS that were applied to this activity, please visit the TEA website.   

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