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  • Writer's pictureWendy De la Garza

Whatever floats your boat!

Updated: Jul 30, 2021

Everyone is bored. it’s a rainy rainy day, so I looked through a nature book for some afternoon inspiration. I remembered our floaty boat box! I first made it 10 years ago. I guess it was meant to be cracked open today because the kids spent almost 3 hours creating natural boats for the puddles. It cost $0 for discovery, imagination, prediction, experiment, challenge and teamwork. The best discovery was that the dried sheath base of a fallen royal palm tree frond acts like leather, and was able to withstand the construction of their boats.

Remember to keep it fun, and natural engagement will come!

What‘s now (as of today) in our box:

3 sizes of skewers


sea grape leaves

giant bird of palm frond leaf squares

dried royal palm frond leaf sheath (base)

giant bird of paradise frond petioles (stems)

wine corks

small nails




pine cones

dried royal palm seeds



large shells

tree bark

citrus fruit rinds

Some good questions:

What object floats best?

Whose boat can carry the most weight?

What makes something not float?

How can you make your boat stronger without it sinking because it’s too heavy?

What kind of sail are you using? Why is having one important?

Why is a plant stem able to float?

Is a dried leaf better as a sail?

Take your boats into the swimming pool. Who’s is fastest when you blow on the sails?

How many boat styles can you create?

How can you add color to your boat?

Will your boat be able to secure cargo?

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