Make a paddle boat that actually moves through the water! This is an awesome STEM challenge for young kids and older ones too. Explore forces in motion with this simple DIY paddle boat activity. We have loads of fun STEM activities for you to try!

HOW TO MAKE A HOMEMADE PADDLE BOAT

WHAT IS A PADDLE BOAT?

A paddle boat is a boat that is propelled by the turning of a paddle wheel. Steamer paddle boats were common in the 1800s and they had steam-powered engines which would turn the paddles.

Have you ever seen or used a people-powered paddle boat? It works by our feet using pedals to turn the paddle wheel just like riding a bike!

Our mini paddle boat engineering project below is propelled through the water because of the laws of physics.

When you twist the rubber band, you are creating potential energy. When the rubber band is released, this potential energy is converted to kinetic energy, and the boat moves forward.

Take up the challenge to make a mini paddle boat with our step by step instructions below. Find out what makes a paddle boat move through the water and see how far you can get it to travel.

ALSO CHECK OUT: Physics Activities For Kids

ENGINEERING FOR KIDS

Engineering is all about designing and building machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles etc. Engineers take scientific principals and make things that are useful for people.

Like other areas of STEM, engineering is all about solving problems and figuring out why things do what they do. Keep in mind that a good engineering challenge will involve some science and math too!

How does this work? You might not always know the answer to that question! However, what you can do is provide learning opportunities to get your kids started with the engineering process of planning, designing, building and reflecting.

Engineering is good for kids! Whether it be in the successes or learning through failures, engineering projects push kids to expand their horizons, experiment, problem-solve, and embrace failure as a means to success.

Check out these fun engineering activities

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR PRINTABLE STEM PROJECT!

DIY PADDLE BOAT

Watch the video:

SUPPLIES:

INSTRUCTIONS:

STEP 1: Print out the boat-shaped template.

STEP 2: Use the template to cut out a boat and paddle from the cereal box cardboard.

STEP 3: Cut your paddle to the smaller shape so that it will fit and spin.

STEP 4: Cover your boat and paddle with duct tape and trim to make it waterproof.

STEP 5: Attach the paddle to the rubber band with scotch tape.

STEP 6: Now stretch the rubber band across the bottom of the boat with the paddle in the middle and begin to twist the paddle.

STEP 7: Once the rubber band is tightly twisted, slowly release your boat into your pool or bowl of water and watch it go!

MORE FUN THINGS TO BUILD

Also try one of these easy and fun engineering projects below.

Build your own mini hovercraft that actually hovers.

Be inspired by American mathematician Evelyn Boyd Granville and build a satellite.

Design an airplane launcher to catapult your paper planes.

A good breeze and a few materials are all you need to tackle this DIY kite project.

It’s a fun chemical reaction that makes this bottle rocket take off.

Build a working DIY water wheel.

MAKE A PADDEL BOAT FOR STEM

Click on the image below or on the link for more easy STEM projects for kids.

STEM projects for kids and STEM ideas to keep kids busy all year! Free printable STEM activities pack.