Hooking them early – boatbuilding with my son’s preschool class

My son is in a coop preschool, so the parents rotate being in the classroom helping out. My wife had been doing it all Fall, but after her January session I decided I would take a turn. I also decided to bring a little of that Chine bLog style to the class. What better interest to ingrain in impressionable youngsters than boatbuilding?

I sketched out a fairly generic hull with LOA of about 10″ and beam of 4″ and grabbed a bunch of scrap wood from my shop. Wood and design in hand, I headed to my local Woodcraft (a fantastic resource for the shop-deprived) and milled the scrap wood into 16 boats and 16 sets of different shaped blocks. Being me, I also cut up dowels to make 16 8″ masts and drilled a mast step in each boat.

In the class, I started with a quick intro to boats, shown below. Surprise surprise, no stinkin’ Cigarette or tubby plastic thing made the cut! Thanks to the various sites I pilfered for this PPT.

Then the kids got to sit with their hull, their set of blocks, and a tube of glue and make their own boat. They loved it. The room grew quiet with concentration as creative minds went to work. Check out the output – a fun, productive activity, I’d say.

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