Kids have been folding paper into boat shapes forever. But I bet you can still impress yours by helping them create a waterproof version that really floats. Ahoy, captain!
A rectangular sheet of paper (plain, colored or decorated by
Begin with a rectangular piece of paper. A standard 8½ x 11
piece will work just fine, but a larger sheet will produce a
bigger, better result. Newspaper is also a good choice.
Place the paper on a flat surface in front of you with the
short side at the top. Fold the top edge down to meet the bottom
edge and make a crease. Then fold the left side to meet the right
side, crease, and unfold at the crease. Fold the top left and right
corners down to meet in the middle and crease (as if you were
making a paper airplane).
You should see two unattached strips of paper beneath the
triangles you just made. Pick up the top strip and fold it up to
make a crease. Turn the paper over and repeat this step.
Rotate the paper so the point of the triangle is on one side.
Pick it up, place your thumbs between the strips and open it.
As you open the triangle, it will flatten into a diamond shape.
If you see any stray flaps, tuck them in and crease again.
Fold one bottom point up to meet the top point of the diamond
and crease. Turn the paper over and fold the other bottom point up
to the top, then crease, to form a new triangle. Open the triangle
from the bottom and flatten it into a new diamond (as in Step
Pick up the diamond, place your fingers on each side of the
very top point and gently pull both sides apart a bit. Keep pulling
until the boat begins to take form.
When the boat won't pull apart any more, flatten it into a
canoe shape. Pull each side apart at the middle until it can stand
on its own.
Apply liberal amounts of clear tape to the bottom of your boat
to make it "sea worthy."
Take your waterproof vessel to the nearest stream, pond or
bathtub and test it out in a good old-fashioned regatta.
Caitlin Murray Giles is a full-time mother of three and part-time freelance writer living in Wicker Park.