How to Make Bath Tub Fun with a Homemade Paddle Boat

How to Make Bath Tub Fun with a Homemade Paddle Boat
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Bath tub time is one of the most looked forward to routines for this house. It means fresh and clean kids for this momma and some water fun for the little ones. My kids absolutely love bath time, but it must include some sort of bath toy. If your kids are like mine, this engaging activity will have them even more excited about bath time!

My daughter did not know what to think when I told her we were going to make a boat that would actually move on its on in the water. Wait, what?!

‘No way!!’ was her initial response. She could not wait to get started!

This activity will require adult supervision for younger children or those who are not capable of using scissors. The cutting of the plastic tupperware can be difficult for little hands 🙂 It also requires the use of a hot glue gun (or could use duct tape!)

Items Needed for Activity

1 Plastic Tupperware Set (Lid and Bottom)
1 Rubber Band
2 Toothpicks
1 plastic or styrofoam cup
Hot Glue Gun or Durable Tape (Duct Tape)
Crayons or Markers
Optional: Hole Puncher

Steps to Making a Paddle Boat

The first step is to glue (or tape) a toothpick halfway up both of the long sides of a small, bottom piece of a tupperware. You want to only attach a small part of the toothpick to the tupperware, as seen in the pictures. This will make the ‘paddle’ work better when it is attached. Next, take the lid of the tupperware set. Cut the lid the same shape as the end of the boat, but about 1/2″ smaller all the way around. Cut 2 slits into this piece on each end. If you have a hole puncher, you can punch a hole at the top of each slit. I just notched out a small hole-like shape with scissors.

Slip a rubber band, one that is as wide as the end of the tupperware bottom, through the slits and into the ‘holes’. Then attach this piece to your tupperware bottom. Loop the rubber band over the ends of the toothpicks. The main construction of the boat is now complete. Now to let the creativity begin….take you plastic or styrofoam cup and cut it in half. Glue it or tape it to one end of the tupperware lid. Have your child use either markers or crayons to decorate the cup. My daughter chose to decorate her captain’s ‘bridge’ with smiley faces! Once this is complete, attach the lid to the bottom portion of the tupperware. Next up, bath tub!

My kids wanted to give their Shopkins and Grossery Gangs a ride in their paddle boat, but it made the paddle boat to heavy to move. As you can see in the pictures, they all ended up in the tub haha! To make the paddle boat move, twist the paddle away from the boat until the rubber band is wound pretty tightly. Then let go to watch the boat take off! You may find that your paddle isn’t able to wind well due to hitting the bottom portion of the tupperware, If this is the case, you can take it off and trim it until it fits just right. Another thing that could happen is the paddle not sitting in the water and being to high up on the tupperware due to toothpick placement. When this happens, just re-adjust the toothpicks until the paddle hits the water right just right!

Science behind the fun

So what is going on here? We know that the twisting action of the rubber band is causing the paddle to move, which then forces the boat to go forward. The rubber band contains elastic energy as it is wound up. The stored energy is released once the paddle is let go, therefore propelling the boat forward.

I hope your child enjoys this activity as much as we did!

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