Mayflower Soap Ship

Mayflower Soap Ship (3)

Here’s an easy history lesson for “summer school”, if you’re helping kids transition back towards an academic mode for the fall. It’s a project that’s equal parts history, STEM, and play!

To start, I wanted Travis to learn a bit about the Mayflower ship that carried the Pilgrims to America, and we found an online read-aloud for kids on YouTube. Travis was thunderstruck (pun intended) by images of the voyage across the ocean as the ship was caught in storms and waves.

Mayflower Soap Ship (9)

Once he finished the video, it was time to create our own ship! Ideally you’ll want a bar of soap that floats for this project and be careful because not all do. Ours was a heavy soap and had a tendency to sink, but we could always nudge it gently back to the top.

To make the sails, cut construction paper (Travis chose blue) to the same size as the soap bar, and tape these “sails” to toothpicks.

Mayflower Soap Ship (1)

Insert the toothpicks into the soap.

Mayflower Soap Ship (2)

Travis sent his boat out to sea! Blow gently on the sails and watch the boat move.

Mayflower Soap Ship (4)

Again, this was tricky since we had to rescue our soap from the bottom of the basin a few times, but Travis loved that he could move it along, and learned a bit about how real sailboats operate.

Mayflower Soap Ship (5)

And then of course he gave his Legos a ride!

Mayflower Soap Ship (7)

Finish the project with a drawing of the boat to add in a little art to the mix!

Mayflower Soap Ship (8)

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