How to Make a Cardboard Boat in 30 Minutes

Written by christina sloane
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How to Make a Cardboard Boat in 30 Minutes
Make your own propeller boat from corrugated cardboard. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Make cardboard boats for an elementary school or Scouting activity on a warm sunny day when kids would rather meet outside. With a few common art and office supplies, each student can make his own cardboard propeller boat in half an hour or less. Children can twist the propellers to wind the rubber bands, then release them in water. Let the students race their toy boats in a nearby lake, pond or pool.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Ruler
  • Markers or crayons
  • Wax
  • Rubber band

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  1. 1

    Draw a pointed arch on a thick sheet of corrugated cardboard. Make the base of the arch about 3 inches wide and the height about 8 inches at the highest point. Cut out the shape with scissors.

  2. 2

    Cut a 3-inch notch out of the base of the arch, leaving at least ½ inch of cardboard on each side.

  3. 3

    Cut two cardboard squares ¼ inch smaller than the dimensions of the notch on each side.

  4. 4

    Cut a slit in the centre of a long edge of each cardboard rectangle for the boat's paddle. Make the slit half as wide as the rectangle.

  5. 5

    Colour your boat with markers or crayons. Cover the entire boat with wax crayons or rub wax over a boat coloured with markers to make it waterproof.

  6. 6

    Slide the two cardboard rectangles together so that the slits intersect to make an x-shaped paddle. Slip a rubber band over the paddle and put the ends of the rubber band over the ends of the boat at the base. Spin the paddle to wind up the boat. Release it into the water and watch it move.

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