Popsicle Stick Boat Race – An Arts and Science Activity - Blog - PLASP
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Popsicle Stick Boat Race – An Arts and Science Activity

Designing boats out of popsicle sticks allows children to build and test their creations. First, encourage your child to draw out a design. Drawing up a plan first will help your child concentrate and organize their thoughts on what they are going to do next. In the popsicle stick boat race, your child will get to be creative as well as scientific by making predictions about how their boats will perform when put to the test. (ie: Will they float? How fast can they sail?)

Be creative! Here are some pirate themed examples.

What You Will Need

  • Jumbo or regular sized popsicle sticks
  • Glue (white craft glue or any strong hold glue)
  • Paper 
  • Scissors  
  • Container to hold water (bathtub, bin, small play pool)


  • Discuss with children how they would like to design their boat. To make a traditional “raft” style, glue popsicle sticks together as a flat base, then creating a second layer by crossing popsicle sticks the opposite way of the first layer. Leave a space in the centre of your design to have one popsicle stick stand-up as the mast.
  • Have children cut out paper sails to glue to the mast of their boat. They can decorate them if they like. Be creative!
  • Let the glue dry (timing will differ depending on your design).
  • Time to test out your creation! Fill a bathtub or large container with water. Ask your child if they think the boat will float. Children can also test to see how quickly the boat can sail by creating waves in the water or blowing on the sail.

Test your boats in water! Pictured here: Boats are in the bathtub and a puddle just behind our home.


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