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07 Sep 2015
You Made It! I Love It!: Ice Boat Races

Labor Day for many is the last hurrah before returning to the hectic pace of the annual school schedule.  It’s a great time for that last family outing and some creative outdoor play.  With that in mind, I thought this simple little boat racing activity might be the perfect addition to whatever you have planned.  What better way to let the kids cool off than with a little chilly regata!

Kristina, over at Toddler Approved demonstrates a quick and easy way to make the base for your tiny frozen ferries.  Freeze up a bunch ahead of time and let your kids experiment with all types of masts and sails.  Try paper, fabric, envelopes, leaves, whatever you have on hand.  Kristina uses a pool noodle for a boat launch, however, you can have just as much fun zooming these boats around a cookie sheet or cake pan (you’ll want something with a lip).  I actually did this once with a young friend of mine in Mexico. We had the best time with them on the tile floor of our patio! (Just make sure you clean up the puddles so nobody slips).

This is a great activity for exploring all kinds of things:  balance, what happens as the ice melts, making the ice melt faster (try salt, friction, or blowing on the ice).  For an added attraction you can try floating the boat in water. There’s so many different things to try, you’ll want to make sure to have plenty of the little ice bases on hand.  Luckily, Kristina’s step by step is very easy to follow. Since the ice level isn’t too high in the cup, these should freeze in about an hour or two.  And hey, if worst comes to worst and you don’t have time to premake the little boat bases, just use some ice cubes.  

You may not achieve the look of the America’s Cup, but you sure will make a bunch of little land sailors smile!