August 19, 2007

Paper Boats

Filed under: Kids Projects,Paper Craft — sarah @ 11:11 am

Our village was having a paper boat race as a joint event to raise funds for the village feast and the Scout group’s chosen charity Akanyo Voko, so I’ve been having the scouts making and experimenting with lots of different types of paper boats. We experimented with two types of origami boats, including the catamaran, and each will have its own write-up later on. But the style of boats that the kids liked best were ones where you draw circles at various points.

Here are a selection of what they produced with this:

Finished Boats

The number of circles was entirely up to the child and they had lots of fun experimenting!

Equipment needed:


Scissors (we use safety scissors)

Compass or selection of cups etc… for drawing around


I also put 4 copies of my dragon template onto one A4 sheet and printed these off onto coloured card for them to decorate the finished boats with.

Dragon templet

The simplest type of boat you can make with this concept is one that has two circles of the same size joined by lines, so it sort of makes a 2D sausage shape. Then you cut around the shape, and to make it into a boat you draw a line to the centre of each circle from the ends. You then cut down this line and slide the bits of paper either side of the slit over each other, and fix them in place either with sellotape or as we found best – a paper clip – that way we could alter the shape slightly if we weren’t happy.

Drawing circles

The length of the boat was up to the child, as was the size of the circles, you can also use one large and one small circle to get some interesting effects.

You can also do three circles in a triangle; the two circles at the ‘fat’ end of the triangle can be far apart or closely overlapping.

Four circles we found made a flatter, more stable craft, though you have to cut the circles at an angle of 45 degrees from where the corner would be if it was a square or rectangle. The size of the circles determined the depth of boat.

Four circles Bee Boat

One of the boys was very innovative and overlapped the slight circles at the front of his boat so much that it ended up with a ‘cone’ for a nose! This actually did float very well when we tested them.

Another pattern was one that had overlapped circles all the way round, in a sort of rectangle. I wasn’t sure this one was going to work but it did! However they sort of curled over to give the boat a protective rim, and other versions of it that he made just had a nice scalloped edge effect if he just left the circles uncut.

cutting out Half assembeled Red Jewled dragon

One of them made a lovely little boat by drawing the circles overlapping in an eight-petalled flower – this made a round boat that was very sturdy in the water and we felt it was only right should be decorated as a dragon!

Round Boat Green boat

The kids decorated the boats in various ways, using colouring pencils and pens, the dragon templates, and gems and glitter.

One response to “Paper Boats”

  1. […] We’ve been getting the kids to make their boats for weeks at our meetings so we had several different types which I’ve posted about on Salaric! […]

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