Ice Boats

water play for kids -- how to make ice boats

The children and I have done a few activities with ice:

Arctic Play Scene

Dinosaur Ice Blocks

Ice Treasure Hunt

Tinker Bell Winter Summer Play Scene

Balloon Ice Sculpture

Ice Cube Painting

My son saw the Ice Boat idea on Play School and we recreated it.  Such a simple yet novel activity.


Small freezer proof plastic containers (plastic bowls works well)




Food Colouring (optional)

Large underbed storage container (or other plastic container)   — alfoil if wanting to slide the boats rather than float them.

ice boats

What to do

1. Use a piece of blu-tack to stick a straw in the middle of the container.

how to make ice boats

2. Fill the container with water and add food colouring (if desired)

how to make ice boats

3. Freeze until solid (approx 8 hours)

water play for kids

4. Cut a sail triangle shape out of paper. I used coloured paper but plain paper coloured with pencil or texta works well too. Using scissors, puncture two holes and weave on to straw.

water play for kids -- how to make ice boats

5. To aid in removing the ice boat from the container, sit in the sink filled with a little warm water for about 30 seconds.

water play for kids -- how to make ice boats

6. Fill a large container with water (I set it up outside) and place the boats in. Sometimes fine cracks appear but the boat will hold well together for about 20-30 minutes depending on how big the piece of ice is and how warm the day.  Another idea is play with the boats without water.  Set up some alfoil moulded ramps either inside the box or on a slight incline somewhere.

water play for kids -- how to make ice boats

7. Play.

water play for kids -- how to make ice boats

Ice Boat

It’s late and my son is asleep now, but tomorrow, I will show him what an real-life ice boats look like. They are a like a sail boat but with skate-like blade to aid in gliding on ice. Because that’s cool (pun intended).

ice boat

Pic credit: nikirms.com


Milk Bottle Lid Boats

Plastic Bowl Boats

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