Business

Kids’ crafts: Make a rubber band-powered boat

I remembered learning how to make a rubber band-powered boat out of a Styrofoam plate when I was young, and just knew it would make for some thrifty fun at home. This project was a hit at my house. Kids making their own toys — what’s not to love? It’s frugal and it keeps the kids busy when you most need it.

The supplies are simple. You’ll need a rubber band, scissors, marker, straight edge and some type of material that will float and can be cut with scissors. We didn’t have any foam plates on hand, so we used a piece of cardboard that we covered with duct tape to make it more water-resistant. You can use milk cartons, plastic lids, and any other material you have on hand.

(Update: I finally bought some balsa wood and made the boat with that! I’ve included step-by-step pictures of the balsa wood rubber band boat alongside the originals. It is sturdier than our cardboard version, but I still love the idea of making toys from what you have on hand. Part of the fun is coming up with ideas and trying different materials.)

The exact measurements are not really important here. Since you’ll be using “found” (and free) materials, adapt the proportions as needed.

Step one: Use a ruler or straight edge to draw a rectangle on one end of your cardboard or balsa wood, leaving an inch or so on on either side. On the other end, draw the “boat” shape (see photo).mark cutting lines on rubber band boat - ruler, pen, balsa wood

Draw your boat shape on one end and a rectangle on the other

Step two: Cut out your rectangle, and set that piece aside. You’ll need it later to use as a propeller. Then cut around your boat-shaped lines.rubber band boat: cut out your pieces
Cut along the lines you drew for your rubber band powered boat

Xem thêm:  25 Android and iPhone Second Number Apps for Your Business Calls

Step three: Now take the rectangle that you set aside and trim it by about a quarter of an inch on all sides. This doesn’t have to be exact, but it will need room to move freely when it is placed back into the space you cut it from.
Trim the piece that will become your propeller

Step four: If you used cardboard, as we did, you may want to cover your pieces with duct tape so your boat doesn’t get soggy and sink. If you use balsa wood, nothing else is needed, although you could paint your rubber-band boat after you’ve tested it and know it works. (Just give it plenty of time to dry out before painting.)
To make your toy boat water tight, cover the pieces with duct tape

Step five: Slip the rubber band onto your boat, over the empty space you cut out. Place the propeller (the rectangle you cut out and trimmed) into the rubber band, wind it up, and let it go. Does it move freely? You might find that you need to trim it a bit more.
Put the rubber band onto the boat and slip the propeller in between the bands

Step six: Wind up the propeller again…wind up the propeller on your rubber band boat
Wind the propeller on your rubber band boat

Step seven: Now that your propeller is wound, just place the boat in a bathtub or backyard pool and let it go! Watch the video below for a demonstration of how the rubber band boat works!

 

Yield: 1 boat

simple balsa wood and an elastic band make a fun toy for kids - learn how to make your own rubber band powered boat

Materials

  • Found materials: something that will float, can be cut, and will hold its shape. Ideas: balsa wood, foam plate, empty milk carton, heavy cardboard, popsicle sticks hot-glued together or to plastic water bottles, Styrofoam, etc. 
  • Rubber band or hair elastic
  • Decorations for your rubber band paddle boat with: stickers, markers, etc. 

Tools

  • Scissors or sharp knife for cutting the material

Instructions

Use a ruler or straight edge to draw a rectangle on one end of your cardboard, leaving an inch or so on on either side. On the other end, draw the “boat” shape (see photo).mark cutting lines on rubber band boat - ruler, pen, balsa wood

Cut out your rectangle, and set that piece aside. You’ll need it later to use as a propeller. Then cut around your boat-shaped lines.rubber band boat: cut out your pieces

Now take the rectangle that you set aside and trim it by about a quarter of an inch on all sides. This doesn’t have to be exact, but it will need room to move freely when it is placed back into the space you cut it from.

If you used cardboard, you may want to cover your pieces with duct tape or some other waterproof material so your boat doesn’t get soggy and sink. If you’re using balsa wood, it’s good to go. Once you’ve tested it and you’re sure it works, you could paint it with some craft paint!

Slip the rubber band onto your boat, over the empty space you cut out. Place the propeller (the rectangle you cut out and trimmed) into the rubber band, wind it up, and let it go. Does it move freely? You might find that you need to trim it a bit more.

Wind up the propeller again…wind up the propeller on your rubber band boat

Now that your propeller is wound, just place the boat in a bathtub or backyard pool and let it go!rubber-band powered boat

Notes

If using a sharp knife to cut your materials, kids should have adult supervision (obviously).

Xem thêm:  Manager Marketing Operations | Job Profile, Responsibilities, Requirements

To make it more scientific, keep notes on different materials you used when making your homemade paddle boats. What material floats best or holds the most weight? Does the size and shape of the rubber band make a difference in the operation of the boat? Is there an optimal number of “winds” to get the boat to go fastest/farthest?

If you liked this article, you may also enjoy:

See the video tutorial: rubber band boat

This project was a hit at my house. Kids making their own toys -- what's not to love? It's frugal and it keeps the kids busy during the summer.

[ad_2]

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also
Close
Back to top button