Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Children's Memorial Day Flower Boats

What better way is there for children to learn about the holidays than to participate in them!  Here's an idea that will help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make!  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing artificial flowers to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, read a poem, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging activity.

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Describing why U.S. citizens celebrate Memorial Day is a Virginia Standard of Learning for Second Graders (2015 History/Social Science 2.5 - C)
I think I might know what your thinking.  It's something like, "Yikes!  It's the end of the school year!  I don't have time for this!"  Well, let me just mention that the end of the school year is one of the best times to plan highly motivating learning activities to keep students focused and to maintain positive behavior.  This activity is very simple and you probably already have a little plastic pool floating around the school from your field day event.  Plus, you'll be hitting a history lesson that incorporates creative writing with a class-created poem for your event.


Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Toy boat floating in water.

I created two versions (Balloon Boat and Toy Boat) of this project and tested both of them out in a lake.  I was thrilled that both boats actually floated!  Keep reading if you would like to see what materials I used and read a step by step tutorial.

Balloon Boat:
  
I found everything I needed for the balloon boat at Walmart and the Dollar Tree.  The balloon boat was less than $5.00 to make!  I used a blue foam board called a "kickboard" from the Dollar Tree to make it.  It's made of the same material as pool noodles.  I also bought one set of decorative patriotic garland flowers that are leis.  I needed a balloon so I purchased a package of patriotic balloons.  Then I went to Walmart and bought a red colored parachute cord which is 18 feet long.  I had scissors and glue so I was finished with shopping for the balloon boat. 


Materials Needed:

Kickboard - $1.00
Flower Garland - $1.00
Balloons - $1.00
Parachute cord - $1.97
Non-Toxic, Multi-Purpose Glue
Scissors
Source of Water (A child's plastic pool will work.)
Total cost:  $4.97 (plus tax)  

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Flower garland, parachute cord, balloon, glue, scissors.


Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Foam "kickboard"

Directions:

1.  Separate the flowers on the garland by cutting them apart.

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Cut apart the flower garland.

2.  View the two sides of the kickboard.  One side is curved upward at the center.  This is the side you will glue the flowers on.  Have the children glue the flowers on the kickboard.  Allow the glue to dry.

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Glue flowers on the foam kickboard.

Note:  We allowed 2 hours for drying time.  Due to the time limitations we had, we proceeded with the activity although the glue was not completely dried.  If possible, allow to the project dry overnight.
3.  Poke a small hole in the center of the kickboard.  (I used the blade of my scissors to do this.)  

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Poke a hole in the center of the kickboard.

Feed a balloon (not inflated) through the hole.  The opening of the balloon is on the opposite side as the side where the flowers are glued.

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Push a balloon through the hole made in the center of the kickboard.

Note:  Make the hole as small as possible.  If the hole is too large the tied knot in the balloon will slip through the hole.
4.  Poke another hole through the front of the kickboard.  

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Poke another hole in the front of the kickboard.

Feed the parachute cord through the hole.  Tie a knot at the two ends of the cord.

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Thread parachute cord through the hole in the front of the kickboard.
Note:  I was at a lake and therefore used the full length (18 ft.) of the parachute cord so that I could easily draw the boat out of the water.  If you are using a child's plastic pool, you might only need half of that length.
5.  Blow up the balloon and tie a knot at the opening.  

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Inflate the balloon.

The inflated side of the balloon is on the same side as the glued flowers.  The knot is on the opposite side.  

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Tie a knot in the balloon on the other side of the kickboard.

The inflated balloon assists the boat with floating.  This is important because of the added weight of the glue and the flowers.  The lightweight leis worked beautifully and they didn't get soggy in water!

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Float your boat!

Plan your observance!  Find a list of names of military men and women from your area who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.  Create a class poem of gratitude.  If nothing else, plan to have a moment of silence.  The key is to get all of your students involved in the project.  This was an easy project because the kickboard and the flowers can be set out in the art area.  The children can add flowers to the kickboard as time permits ahead of the event.

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Children can glue flowers on as time permits when this project is put in the art area.

Take your boat(s) to your water source and float your boat(s).  Read the poem your class created out loud, have the children take turns reading the names of the men and women from your list, or have a moment of silence.  When you are finished, remove everything from the water.  You want to make sure that fish and other wildlife continue to enjoy their home!  Keep in mind that young children need CONSTANT supervision.  If you are planning this at a nearby pond, lake, or other body of water, you'll need one chaperone per child.

This idea was inspired by a Memorial Day flower boat craft activity using paper plates.  See that idea here:  Memorial Day Craft.

Keep going if you'd like to read about the Toy Boat version of this.
Toy Boat:

Everything I needed for the toy boat version was at Walmart.  I found the red/blue toy boat set there as well.  I also purchased one bouquet of plastic flowers with stems.  I needed some string for this project and for future projects so I bought natural polished hemp which was 219 ft. long.  I already had scissors so I was done shopping.

Materials Needed:

Specific plastic toy boat set - $4.88
Plastic flowers - $0.97
String (hemp) - $4.94
Small Wire cutters or Scissors 
Source of Water (A child's plastic pool will work.)
Total cost:  $10.79 (plus tax)  If you already have the string it will cost $5.85.
Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Toy boat, string, plastic flower bouquet, and scissors.



Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Two-piece toy boat with lattice design on the blue piece.

The toy boat that I purchased was a boat set with sand toys inside.  See photo below. 

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Toy boat with sand toys.
I removed the sand toys.  This left me with a two-piece boat.  The top part of the boat which is blue fits into the bottom part of the boat which is red.  The blue part of the boat has a lattice design (see photo above) with holes.  This activity would not work without these components.

Directions:

1.  Use a pair of wire cutters (or scissors) and cut the stems of each flower in the bouquet so that it is short.  I didn't have wire cutters so I used my scissors to cut some of it and then twisted the stem off.

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Plastic flower with stem cut short to fit in the toy boat.
 
2.  Push each stem (about 6 total) into one of the holes in the lattice part of the boat.

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Memorial Day flower boat.

Caution:  Wires within plastic flower stems can become sharp once cut.  Don't allow children to help you with this part.
3.  Thread the hemp string through the small hole provided in the plastic boat.

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Feed the string through the hole at the front of the toy boat.
  
Make sure the string is long enough to pull and withdraw the boat from the water when you are finished with the activity.  Tie the two ends of the string to form a knot.

You're all set to float!

Help your students observe Memorial Day with a flower boat floating event.  These patriotic flower boats are simple to make.  Children can help decorate the boats by gluing flowers on to them.  Float the boats in a small plastic pool, pond, or other body of water.  Have a moment of silence, give thanks, or read the names of local men and women who died while serving the United States Armed Forces.  Children love the idea of floating boats which makes this a highly engaging Memorial Day activity!
Boat floating in lake.


Copyright 2017
Molly McMahon, Lessons by Molly    


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