Homeschool Creations

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Instant Challenge ~ Boat Race


We joined along again this week for the second Instant Challenge hosted by Michelle @ Delightful Learning. Our challenge this week? Make a boat, have it FLOAT, and race it!

The materials:

  • 3 straws
  • 10 craft sticks
  • 3 Styrofoam cups
  • 3 marshmallows
  • 1 piece of string
  • 1 piece of foil
  • 3 mailing labels
  • 2 chenille sticks
  • 1 piece of paper

I am ever so pleased to announce that this challenge went much more smoothly than the first one ~ as in there was much sibling cooperation and happiness. {yeah!}

We set up two separate tables this time ~ one for building the actual boat and then one for the ‘test zone’ where we put the boat in the water. The girls had two minutes to talk through their building plan with each other.


Once they had a set plan in place {it took less than the 2 minutes}, they started working together to build their boat. Laurianna worked on the base of the boat, folding the paper into a basket shape while McKenna ripped the mailing labels in strips so they had more pieces to secure the corners.


When the base of the boat was done, they wrapped it in tinfoil so that the water wouldn’t seep onto the paper and make it wet.


To help give the boat a little added float power, they poked the three marshmallows through the center with the straws and formed a triangle shape for the boat to ‘sit’ on top of. To help the boat stay on top of the marshmallow raft, they tied it around the boat using the piece of string.


The craft sticks were used to reinforce the bottom of the boat and they used one of the cups as a ‘boathouse’ of sorts, sticking one of the chenille stems as a mast and using the paper the mailing labels came on as a sail.

Instant Challenge Boat Race

Test #1: Sea-worthy and floatable? CHECK!!


Test #2: Will it race? YES!! They stayed well behind the line and it went across the water easily {and well!}.


Our Score:

  • 10/10 points for having a completed boat at the end of Part One.
  • 25/30 points for speed on the water ~ it could have been a little faster!
  • 10/20 points for creativity in how the boat went across ~ the blowing wasn’t super creative, but it did get the job done!
  • 20/20 points for creativity in using materials. They used almost everything ~ two cups were left over, but they made good use of even the backing for the mailing labels.
  • 20/20 points for teamwork. This week was such a polar opposite from the last challenge. They did GREAT together!

Overall Score: 85/100

This challenge was a little easier for the girls overall, I think mainly because they understood it a lot better than last time too {easier to picture in their minds what was being asked}. They were excited that it even held several Little People and still floated around in the water…and so was Kaleb!


We’re gearing up for the next challenge: Cup Holder! "Up for a Challenge?" is a weekly meme designed to get students involved in critical thinking and creative problem solving by doing an Instant Challenge. If you are interested in being a part of the Instant Challenges, you can find out more here.




  • Way to go girls! I am impressed with how creatively you used the supplies and that you used all of them. I especially liked how you created the float with the straws and marshmallows and tying it on with the string. And the boat house is too cute. Definitely a sea worthy vessel ~ great job!

    By Blogger Michelle Gibson, At November 25, 2009 at 10:43 AM  

  • Wow, what a creative design. Using the marshmallows and the straws together is such a neat idea.

    By Blogger Elise, At November 26, 2009 at 2:16 AM  

  • We're going to have to try these challenges - some great ideas here.

    Thanks for having so many great ideas on your blog. I'm passing along a blog award to you.

    By Anonymous The Wonder Years, At November 28, 2009 at 1:28 AM  

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