Update to Summer Sailing Activity: The Importance of the Process

Whenever we sit down to do an activity, my daughter gets so excited about the end product.  And this activity was no exception.  ”When are we going to sail the boats?”  ”Are they frozen yet?”  ”I think they’re frozen.”  ”I’m sure they’re ready now.”  ”Maybe they are getting too frozen.”  I  have found that if my children are involved in (almost) every step of the process, it makes it a lot more enjoyable for everyone, and the waiting not quite so long.

And having them involved with all the details that are integrated in the process also helps with critical thinking and problem solving.

How much water should we add?

How will this affect the size of our boat?

How tall do you want the mast?

How can we change the height of it?

How can we tell which cup belongs to whom?

Getting ready…..and using pipe cleaners for the masts, we couldn’t locate any straws.

Brother pouring the water all by his two-year old self.  (Only a few little puddles were made in the process).


I used the top of an old shoebox to make a triangle for them to trace around.


Tracing the triangle shape for a sail.

L expertly cutting out her sail.


And then, finally decorating our sails.


Once our boats had frozen and everyone was really excited to let them set sail my camera died.  All part of the process.  My children weren’t deflated at all, only I was.  Somehow I managed to carry on (after a brief phone call sharing my  frustration with my husband) and we sailed the boats, well, kind of.  L was disappointed that hers kept ‘tipping’ over.  So we tried to figure out a way to keep them from sailing on their sides on the next attempt.

More thinking and problem solving ensued…….

More or less water?

Pipe cleaner too heavy?  Too long?

L decided she should shorten her pipe cleaner and add more water.  Oh, and did I mention that these new and improved boats are colorful?

L and brother added drops of food coloring until they had the desired shades of green and purple.

Now for the waiting…..

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July 19, 2011. Education, Family.

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