A Boat-Building Activity
This column, produced in partnership with Mommy & Me™, provides parents and young children with fun and simple ways to make the most of the time they spend – laughing, loving and learning – together. Use the activities, tips and resources featured here to help you connect with your young ones. 

Ships Ahoy!
Fireworks, cookouts, lemonade stands, family vacations and fresh fruit pies – that’s what July is all about. On a stroll around your neighborhood, you and your children can look for signs of summer: wading pools, dogs panting, bathing suits, picnics, flowers blooming and flags waving.

Summer is also a good time to scout for boats. You and your child have probably seen floating vessels: Our waterways are busy with all types of interesting boats – row boats, sailboats, tugboats, steamboats, airboats, motorboats, cruise ships and barges, to name just a few.

To launch your child’s understanding of various types of boats, gather up magazines with pictures or visit the library or bookstore. Then try this boat-building project, which will teach your little sailor about one of the many different ways to propel boats and introduce the physics of floating.

Mommy’s Materials:

Your Child Will Learn:
• Fine motor skills

• Eye-hand coordination

• Following directions

• Science concepts

• Shapes and colors

• Sponges – one for each boat you make

• Adhesive tape

• Safety scissors

• Paper for sails

• Drinking straws

• Crayons, markers or stickers

o-pagination: none; mso-shading: white; mso-pattern: solid white; mso-layout-grid-align: none; punctuation-wrap: simple">Build Your Boat

1. Assist your child in cutting the sponges into shapes of boats. Rectangles work well. Or you can make one end form a bow by having it come to a point.

2. Make the sail by cutting a small square or a right triangle out of construction paper.

3. Decorate the sail with crayons, markers or stickers. Try using red, white and blue markers and star-shaped stickers for a festive July-Fourth look.

4. Cut the straw to the length mast you would like.

5. Tape the sail to the straw. For a triangular sale, tape the straw to one side of the right angle. For a rectangular sale, tape the straw to the middle.

For more boats and fun that floats from Mommy & Me™ Click here

6. Cut a small slit in middle of the sponge and insert the mast.

7. Float the boats in a tub of water.

8. Blow gently on the sail and away you go!

Ultimate Boat Ride

After you have completed this boat project, take your child for a real boat ride. There are many places you can go to find the perfect excursion. Check out your local phone directory and look under boat rentals! Bon voyage!

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