I love finding ways to make the kids marvel at the beauty of winter, even on the coldest days, and these all-natural ice boats were the perfect activity! Technically you could make the boats any time of year, but the colder it is outside, the longer your ice boats will last!
To set up, freeze water in Tupperware containers until solid. Any size container is fine, although obviously smaller ones will freeze faster and cut down on waiting time if your kids are impatient. Before freezing, I added a stick to the center of each container as the boat’s mast; hold in place with a pipe cleaner twisted around the middle until the water begins to freeze.
Once the boats were frozen solid, it was time to set them afloat! I considered driving to the nearest pond to set them sailing in a truly all-natural location, but couldn’t think of a way to keep the ice frozen in the car. Instead, we made a “pond” on a craft tray in the snow just off our back patio!
For sails, we attached a few leaves from an evergreen bush, a nice pop of green against all the winter white.
The kids loved seeing the little boats sail among the sea of snow.
Even though it was below 30 degrees, the sun was strong enough that the boats melted on the patio once we set them down. That meant this turned into a little STEM lesson at the end as we watched solid turn back to liquid. And of course there’s zero cleanup with this activity!
Water, sticks, and leaves all went right back to nature.