Little Handmade Boats


Off To The Sea


Only five minutes away from our home, the crashing mountain stream is divided and slowed and flows safely over a bed of rocks. Children can have hours of safe fun.

I collected a box of “floaty” things and many, many poplar sticks from trees we recently had removed. It was an opportunity for dads to teach their children about rafts and lashing and why some things float and others sink.



Little cosmetic bottles and toothbrush holders from the dollar store make perfect boats. Rubber bands hold everything together and craft foam makes great sails. Masts can be made from straws, craft sticks or sticks from the ground. Glitter in the middle boat looks wonderful in the sun as the little boat sails along.


Wild Are The Waves  -Walter de la Mare

Wild are the waves when the wind blows;

but fishes in the deep

live in a world of waters,

still as sleep.




I brought along some plastic boats as a back-up. You never know when one of these wonderful little boats might sail down the river and out-of-sight. We found that the plastic bottles floated very well in fast or slow water and in and around rocks. They didn’t flip over.



There was no confusion over “whose boat was whose”. Each was distinctive, like this little boat with two cannon made out of straws. This boat made it all the way to the end of the excursion without a single problem. It was Henry’s boat and he is just five.


Echoes – Walter de la Mare

The sea laments the livelong day,

Fringing its waste of sand;

cries back the wind from the whispering shore – 

No words I understand:

Yet echoes in my heart a voice, as far, as near, as these –

The wind that weeps, the solemn surge

Of strange and lonely seas.



The day was very warm but the water was very cold. The shallow water was perfect for children. Dollar-store boats floated along next to wooden rafts. Everyone squealed and chased the boats. Only one really got away. The races were competitive.



Even a very little child could play around safely

which was great for Tucker’s mother.



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