Natural Ice Boats

When I first discovered these ice boats on a fellow crafter’s blog, I knew my kids would love them. But since we wanted to float them on a lake, I had to come up with a way to make them that wouldn’t leave litter behind. For an afternoon of clean, green and science-friendly fun, try making these ice boats with your kids.


  • containers of any kind (we used plastic Tupperware)
  • pipe cleaners
  • tape
  • sticks/twigs
  • small leaves


  1. pipe cleanerStart by collecting any number of containers and taping a twig or stick straight up in the center of each. To make the sticks stay in place, we wrapped a pipe cleaner around each one and taped the ends of the pipe cleaners to the outsides of the Tupperware
  2. Fill the containers with water. NOTE: The water expands a little as it freezes, so make sure to put the pipe cleaners high enough that they won’t touch the ice.
  3. containersPlace the boats in the freezer and wait for them to turn into solids.
  4. When you’re ready to set sail (in a lake, pool, sink, bathtub or other body of water) poke a leaf on top of the stick in each container to act as a sail.
  5. Pop the ice out of the containers and launch your boats!

sail leafEventually, your boats will melt—but don’t worry! All of the materials are natural and won’t harm your kids or the environment. My kids wanted to do this over and over, so I suggest making many boats at once! Boat races are a great way to involve many people in this craft.