Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Designing More Boats

Our children came to school today eager to create more boats. At circle time we read a story called "Why Ships Don't Sink" to the children. In it, the book describes all the characteristics that ships have in order to help them float including their shape, size, and building materials. The book also discusses the differences between ships and submarines. Some of our children were fascinated with the idea that submarines have large containers that fill with water or empty depending on whether the captain wants to rise and float on water or sink and travel below the surface.

At play time the children made boats from different materials than yesterday.

This child made a submarine complete with a water tank that could be filled or emptied.

After the boats were made the children had races, which helped them to discover that wind powers some types of boats.

One child realized that paper boats quickly get wet and sink so he made a double layer on the bottom of his boat to protect the main part from getting too wet.

The children also experimented with making ships out of plasticine. It was interesting to see what they formed with the pliable material.

This lead to all kinds of wonderful inquiry and investigation. The children realized that the plasticine boats needed to be thin, flat, and have tall sides or the water would rush in and sink them. They also realized that there could be no holes in the sides or bottom or the boat would flood. 

We spontaneously created a game where we saw how many shiny rocks each boat could hold before sinking. Children were encouraged to keep improving their boats in order to hold more rocks.

The children wrote their best attempt on a piece of paper near the water table.

In order to capitalized on this interest and promote more literacy, we placed a number of additional books about boats from the school library at the science center. We are hoping the pictures and information will inspire more inquiry and adventure at our science and water play centers!


  1. So cute! Great idea, I bet the kids loved it.

  2. Great awsome idea. Never thought of letting children try plasticine boats. could i use 1 or 2 pictures from here for my degree assignment. Its about inquiry based learning. I will deftly cite your blog as my source for the photo.

  3. Thanks for your comments Pamela! Yes, that's fine! We do appreciate the citation thanks!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...