Setup Fill a large clear Tupperware storage container with water. If weather allows this activity is best done outdoors. If you choose to do it indoors you will need a lot of towels or a mop.
Discussion Ask the kiddos what they know about boats. What are they made of? Wood? Metal? Ask why somethings float while other sink. This discussion is meant to get them thinking.
How To Present them with the supplies. Tell them their first challenge today will be to build a boat that floats. Their second challenge will be to build a boat that can hold 100 pennies. Allow the children five minutes or so to build their boat. Slowly start to allow children to place their boat in the water to see if it floats. Ask them if their are ways they can improve their design. Allow them to make changes for another 10 - 15 minutes.
After each group successfully creates a boat gather the groups or children together around the water. Have one boat at a time enter the water and get out the pennies. Have the kiddos add the pennies one at a time until all the pennies are on top or until the boat sinks. Remove the pennies from the water and place the next boat in the water, repeating until every group or individual boat has had a chance to succeed.
My Experience Kids could do this all day. They loved the engineering aspect as well as the little bit of water play. I teamed up younger kids with older kids, to try and make teams fair and so every child had an opportunity to be successful.
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