Like the birch bark canoes built centuries ago by the Indian tribes in New England, this lightweight toy craft cuts quickly and smoothly through water.
Fold a 6- by 12-inch piece of cardboard in half so that the long ends match up. Draw a side view of a canoe on one side of the cardboard, using the fold for the bottom of the boat.
With scissors, cut through both layers along the sides and top of the canoe, but not the bottom. Then, use the needle and string to sew together the curved ends.
For seats, cut two 3 1/2- by 1 1/2-inch strips out of cardboard scraps. Fold in the sides of each strip 1 inch from the short edges and wedge the seats inside the boat. Next, paint the canoe and let it dry thoroughly.
To waterproof the canoe, put the wax in the can and set the can in a saucepan filled with a couple inches of water. Heat slowly until the wax melts (parents only). Now, use a pot holder to set the can on newspaper.
With tongs, dip the boat, an end at a time, into the wax. (You may have to tilt the can.) When the wax hardens, place a few pebbles in the hull to prevent tipping, and the boat is ready to float in a backyard stream or bathtub.