Two natural floating boats made with ice.

Float Natural Ice Boats

For an afternoon of clean, green and science-friendly fun, try making these ice boats with your kids.


  • Plastic containers
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Tape
  • Sticks and twigs
  • Small leaves


  1. Tape a twig or stick straight up in the center of each container by wrapping a pipe cleaner around each stick, then tape the ends of the pipe cleaners to the outsides of the plastic container.
  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 so that they won't touch the ice.
  3. Place the boats in the freezer and wait for them to turn into solids.
  4. When your child is 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.

Lorie is a reading specialist turned SAHM to a toddler and a preschooler.

Iowa PBS STEAM Activities and Crafts provided by PBS KIDS Parents.