This easy sailboat craft is the perfect activity for preschoolers learning about the science of air currents, wind and water.
Most young children love water play and this small scale boat activity is excellent for indoor water play. As part of a science lesson, preschoolers will make the boats, fill the "lake," and create wind currents to move their sailboats across the water.
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Wood skewers, pointy ends removed, about 6 inches long
Paper, cut into approximately 3x4 inch rectangles.
Deep baking tray
After reading a few preschool picture books about wind and sailboats (see suggestions below), it's time to make the sailboats.
Push the skewer through the paper rectangle so that it enters the paper about half an inch from the top and exits half an inch from the bottom. Adjust the paper so that it is slightly pushed outward to make the sail shape.
If needed, an adult can facilitate the insertion of the skewer by pre-making small holes in the paper sail.
Push the skewer into the foam shape so that it just goes through, but does not extend out the other side.
Fill the baking tray with water.
Float the sailboat on the water.
Blow through the straw directing the "wind" towards the concave side of the sail to move the sailboat around the water!
For extra fun, kids will enjoy making ripples on the surface of the water by blowing at the water.
Picture Books about Wind and Sailboats
Use these delightful preschool books about wind and sailboats to accompany the homemade sailboat activity.
I Am the Wind by Michael Karg, illustrated by Sophie Diao
Like a Windy Day by Frank Asch, illustrated by Devin Asch
The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins
Lily Leads the Way by Margi Preus, illustrated by Matt Myers
Sheep on a Ship by Nancy Shaw
Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman
First published 2008, updated 2023.