Summer Play Idea: How to Make Boats in Your Freezer

Jul 26, 2016

The sweetness of summer is in full bloom, which means spending as much time outdoors soaking it up as possible. Here is a great summer activity that is fun for all and beautiful to see floating along a lake or river. Ice sailboats! These little boats are incredibly simple to create and perfect for playing in and with nature.

To create you will need:


  • plastic containers (any shape or size will do)
  • twigs
  • pipe cleaners
  • food coloring (optional)
  • tape
  • leaves and flowers
  • water

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To begin:

Head on out into the beautiful sunshine and gather your twigs for your sailboat mast.

Place a twig in the center of each container and secure it by wrapping a pipe cleaner around it and taping it tight.

Fill with water and add a drop or two of food coloring if you wish to have colorful boats.

A pipe cleaner is being used to support a stick in the middle of a container of coloured water. The pipe cleaner has been wrapped around the stick and then taped to the sides of the container so that it remains suspended in the middle of the container.

Carefully place them in the freezer until fully frozen. Overnight is the best bet.

When you are ready to float the boats, gather your flowers and leaves.

Six differently coloured ice boats with twig masts sitting on plates.

Remove the pipe cleaners and tape from the twigs, now securely frozen into the ice and if need be pour a bit of warm water over the outside of the container so that the ice boat will slip out easily.

Poke a leaf through the twig for the sailboat mast. Add flowers if you like. There you have it. So easy. Now the ice boat is ready to set sail!

An ice sailboat with a leaf mast floating in a tub of water.

Article Author Shanti Nordholt-McPhee
Shanti Nordholt-McPhee

Shanti Nordholt-McPhee is one half of the blog Twig and Toadstool. The blog is primarily a natural based craft blog that she created with the help of her friend Maureen. They create beautiful crafts made out of natural and beautiful materials, things that are inspired by Mother Nature, embellished with glitter, whimsy and imagination! Shanti is a mother of two beautiful girls, ages eight and eleven, and she feels fortunate enough to live in a part of Eastern Ontario where she is surrounded by the beauty of the natural world and part of a community of parents who encourage creativity and JOY!

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