A miniature raft can be a fun craft project that teaches kids the basics of flotation. Rafts were originally made of wooden logs lashed together with ropes to form a solid surface which would float on rivers. By shrinking this concept down to Popsicle stick size and using glue instead of rope, kids can make their own little raft on your kitchen table. The raft then can be around floated in a bathtub full of water.
Lay out the newspaper on the table or other surface where the raft is going to be constructed. The newspaper will absorb any excess glue and protect the table, carpet or other surface.
Lay out three Popsicle sticks parallel to each other, with the outer two sticks roughly the length of a stick away from each other.
Run a very small bead of glue along the length of each stick. Place another stick on top to form three double layered sticks. These sticks will form the support for the raft. Wipe any excess glue that leaks out from between the sticks.
Run a small bead of glue along the top of the three double sticks. Place a stick on top that runs perpendicular to all three double sticks. The outer two sticks should be within 1/2 inch of the two ends of the perpendicular stick and the middle stick should be in the centre of the perpendicular stick. This will be the first "plank" stick.
Place the rest of the sticks along the support sticks and parallel to the first plank stick until the top of the raft is finished. It should take about 10 sticks to complete the plank section, depending on how closely you place the planks and the exact size of the sticks.
Allow the glue to dry overnight before testing the raft in water.
Things you need
- Popsicle sticks (16 sticks per raft)
- Waterproof glue