Build colorful ice boats for some simple summer fun.
I’m calling this activity a successful failure. Some activities work exactly the way you want them to and some don’t. Some crash and burn and some are successful failures. I’m calling these colorful ice boats a successful failure – it didn’t go the way I hoped, but my kids still loved it. And that’s really all that matters.
I loved the Ice Boat Races idea from Toddler Approved so that was the inspiration for our activity. This activity was a bit more involved then our normal go around here. It wasn’t a five second prep – but it had a few fast, simple steps which was good for my toddler son. He was able to work on all the steps in the process with me to create our colorful ice boats. He was heavily invested!
How to make Colorful Ice Boats:
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- Ice cube tray
- Food coloring
- Construction Paper
- Watercolor paint
- Water table (a bath tub or kiddie pool would work great too)
Like I said before, this project has a few steps but each step is fast and easy and nothing is complicated. Promise. You can do this! First step: mix up some colored water and pour it into your ice cube tray. Next, wrap the tray in foil. Cut up four straws into thirds and poke the straws in through the foil as the mast of the boats. My toddler loved helping with all of this! And the next morning, when they were frozen, it was like Christmas for him unwrapping our foil tray.
After the trays were frozen, my toddler painted a piece of white construction paper with watercolor to make our colorful sails. Before I attached the sails, I made sure to “crack” the ice cube tray so the boats would be easy to remove. I cut the water colored paper into triangles and taped them to each straw. Our boats were ready to sail!
The only problem is – they didn’t really sail. That’s the fail part. I had these grand visions of the boats setting sail on the open water table water but that just wasn’t the case. I was bummed. My kids? They were in heaven and still loving the whole activity. How can this be?
Because they’re kids. They didn’t know what my vision was so to them, this worked great. They tossed their boats in the water and held the sails as they zipped them around, watching the ice melt into colored water behind them. Next time, I think I’ll add a small rock to the bottom of the ice cube water before it freezes to balance out the boats. I’ll let you know how it goes.
My colorful ice boats ended up being so much fun. A few more steps than I normally take in my projects, but it was worth it for how much fun the kids had. I can totally see doing colorful ice boats in the bath tub or in a kiddie pool next time – they would have fun being in with the boats.
Think your kids would like making colorful ice boats?