Preschooler Approved Sailboat Activities


As a former teacher, I am always thinking of ways to incorporate learning into my three-year-old’s fun-filled days. My son is always on the go, so I have found simple hands-on activities are best to catch his attention. This summer I have been setting a theme for each week and planning educational activities around it.

Last week we learned about sailboats. We started the week by going to the library and checking out books that are related to sailboats. A couple of the books on our reading list were The Little Sailboat by Lois Lenski, Toy Boat by Randall de Seve, and Buoy by Bruce Balan. I also filled our water table with sailboats and ocean animals and put boat printables on our art table.

Here is a fun sailboat craft that we enjoyed doing…sailboats

You will need:

  • Playdough (Click here for a great playdough recipe)
  • Straws (cut in half)
  • A hole puncher
  • Craft foam sheet
  • Scissors
  • Plastic Lids
  1. First, help your little one roll the playdough into small balls (one for each boat that you will make) and place each ball of dough on a plastic lid.
  2. Next, cut the craft foam into triangles — these will be the sails on the boat. You can substitute construction paper if you do not have craft foam sheets.
  3. Make two holes (using the hole punch) along one side of each sail.
  4. Cut each straw in half and push the straw through the holes on the triangles.
  5. Place the sails into the playdough to make your sailboat.

My little one used a piece of blue construction paper as the ocean, put his sailboats on top, and used blocks to make a dock. He also cut pieces of yarn to tie one end of the boats to the dock.

At the end of the week, we took a walk at the Charleston Harbor Marina and watched all the boats. My son was so excited and counted all the sailboats he could find! There is also a great view of the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point, right next to the marina. We also visited the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry during the week to play in the water table area, which is full of boats.

Overall this was a fun theme, and Charleston is the perfect place to learn about boats!

Bonus: Here is a fun sailboat snack recipe!

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