Wagon Boat Mini Float

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Wagon Boat Mini Float
Total Time afternoon or evening Ages school-age

You won't believe how easily this ship shapes up using a pull-along wagon, some brightly colored duct tape, and scrap cardboard. The nautical bumpers, made from plastic bottles, can also keep your sailor's thirst quenched during the voyage down Main Street.

Download Wagon Boat Mini Float  Template

What you'll need

  • 2 long pieces of scrap corrugated cardboard measuring at least 14 inches tall (large flattened boxes work well)
  • Wagon
  • Craft or box knife
  • 1 intact 14-inch-tall cardboard box
  • 1 roll each of red, white, and blue duct tape
  • Small U.S. flag
  • Small plastic bottles
  • String

How to make it

  1. Tape the cardboard scraps together to make one long length that can wrap around the back and along both sides of the wagon. With a helper, hold the piece in place and mark where the cardboard will bend around the back. With the knife (parents only), score along these lines so that the cardboard will fold more easily. If necessary, trim the cardboard so that the boat's sides and back are about 14 inches high. Trim a curved top edge on each side, as shown.

  2. Cut two sides from the intact box to make a pointed bow, as shown. With a helper holding the pieces in place on the wagon, tape the bow section and the main body together, fitting them snuggly around the wagon.

    See attached PDF for a diagram.


  3. To hold the cardboard in place, cut four slits at the level of the wagon's sides, as shown. For each slit, cut an 8-inch length of white duct tape. Fold over the leading edge of the tape and push it through the slit with the tape's sticky side facing down. Affix the tape to the wagon's interior and to the outside of the cardboard.

    See attached PDF for a diagram.


  4. Cut a triangular piece of cardboard to fit on the top of the bow. Secure it to the boat with red duct tape, then wrap the top third of the boat in red tape, making sure to cover the top edges as well.

  5. Wrap the bottom two-thirds of the boat with white duct tape. Finally, apply a stripe of blue duct tape where the red and white sections meet.

  6. Poke a hole at the point of the bow with a knife, and insert the flag. Apply duct tape stripes to the plastic bottles, tie one end of a length of string around the neck of each, and tape the string's other end to the boat's inside wall.

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