Be a sailor: make a boat!

be a sailor make a boat
B is all about the ocean right now, and with a trip to the seaside coming up in a few weeks she’s thinking about how she might like to be a sailor. So when a big cardboard box arrived in the house she knew just what she wanted to do ~ make a boat!

Be a sailor: make a boat

be a sailor make a boat
Oh, the delight of a big cardboard box, there for the making!

be a sailor make a boat
She started her boat by making portholes.

be a sailor make a boat
And added a tissue paper sail and a ship’s wheel cut from the base of a pizza board.

be a sailor make a boat

She painted inside and added sticky mosasic squares – she’s sailing in style!

be a sailor make a boat

She used acrylic paint ~ for good coverage and durability.

be a sailor make a boat

As any sea dog would tell you, if you want to be a sailor, you need some maps.

be a sailor make a boat

She made some strong tea and dipped her paper in to give it an aged look. Tearing the edges of the paper made it look old too. Then she left them to dry, laid flat on a wire baking rack, with a teatowel underneath to catch any drips.

be a sailor make a boat

Once dry, B and L added illustrations to their maps. This brought so much language and imagination into the play.

be a sailor make a boat

They added in their egg box treasure chest, and set sail.

More ideas to be a sailor

If you know a child who’d like to be a sailor – make a boat! You might like these toy boats that really float.

Or try this pirate map idea for storytelling.


  1. says

    This is so cool! We often use boxes as boats and cooking spoons as oars but have never spent much time creating the boat. I’m sure the maps and treasure chest really add to the fun. I love these ideas!

  2. says

    Adorable! I love the power of imagination! Have you ever seen the children’s book called Not a Box? Your post reminded me of it.

  3. says

    What a brilliant idea and I will have plenty of boxes once we move and unpack. I have pirate posts on my blog too so maybe ours will be a pirate ship. Thanks for sharing.

  4. says

    Excellent. Made a puppet theatre today and had to get the boys out of the box as they were using it as a boat. Next stop at costco – 2 boxes for boats!

  5. Jennifer (aka Hint Mama) says

    Love this:) I’m always looking for relatively easy projects that can be done with materials most of us have around the house (like cardboard boxes).

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