Will it Sail or Sink? Cork Boats


sail or sink cork boats

One day last week we had a big thunderstorm and then the sun broke out with a dazzling display of light.  I wanted to take the kids out so they could enjoy the sunshine and all those large puddles but not everyone had rain boots and extra clothes at my house that day.  Puddle jumping was out of the question.  I decided to do a quick science experiment using the puddles instead.

I found corks in my craft bin, elastics and tiny drink umbrellas. The children and I brainstormed together on how to turn them into boats.  We ended up with these two types.  Would they sail or would they sink?  Some children had many predictions on what would happen and others had none.  Children learn through experimentation, observation, imitation and trial and error.  We set out to find ourselves a big puddle to test our boats.


The children watched in excitement as some boats sailed and others tipped over.


The children had not made individual boats.  There was no ownership associated with one boat or the other. It was a general experiment for the whole group to watch and see what happened. This approach helps avoid any hurt feelings and also encourages kids to take chances with wild ideas when doing experiments.


The group happily sailed the boats in the puddle for quite a while. They extended the play to see if one boat was faster than the other (it was a windy day) or if making waves in the puddle affected the boats ability to sail. It was a fun way to spend some time outside learning and discovering together.


Happy Sailing!