Preschool Boat Theme

Book List

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Songs & Fingerplays

Down The River - sung to "Clementine"

Down the river, swiftly flowing
Comes a lovely golden boat
Light it drifts, as any feather
On the rushing sea afloat.

Not a mast or sail to guide it
On the yellow deck is seen,
But a host of tiny fairies
Taking home their Fairy Queen.

Now I tell you that my river
Was a gutter stream that flowed,
And my boat, a leaf of Maple
That the frost had turned to Gold
~Submitted by Wendy, Ontario

Boats Out In The Sea - sung to "The Farmer In The Dell"

Boats out in the sea.
Boats out in the sea.
Float up and down and all around.
Boats out in sea.

Have You Ever Seen A Sailboat? - sung to "Did You Ever See A Lassie?"

Have you ever seen a sailboat,
A sailboat, a sailboat?
Have you ever seen a sailboat
Waving its sail?

Wave this way and that way,
Wave that way and this way.
Have you ever seen a sailboat
Waving its sail?

Rowing - sung to "Row, Row, Row Your Boat"

Waves, waves, back and forth,
Rock the boat all day.
(move hands like waves)
We row and row so we can go
Somwhere far away
(pretend to row boat)
~Submitted by Karen in KS

Float Around In Canoes - sung to "Ring Around the Rosey"

Float around in canoes,
(move in circle clockwise)
We are wearing no shoes.
(continue moving clockwise)
(move counter clockwise)
(move clockwise)
We all splish SPLASH!
(Drop hands and fall to ground)


Three men in a tub;
And who do you think they be?
The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick maker;
And all of them gone to sea.


Three friends in a tub;
And who do you think they be?
There's (child's name), and (child's name), and (child's name), too;
And all of them gone to sea!

Sail Your Boat - sung to "Row, Row, Row Your Boat"

Sail, sail, sail your boat,
On the ocean blue.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Boats are great, it's true!

Arts & Crafts

Paper Plate Sailboat

Place a small amount of modeling dough in the center of a wax-coated paper plate. Put a craft stick into the lump of dough and attach a construction paper sail to the craft stick. Place the sailboat in water and encourage your child to experiment with different ways to make the sailboat move (make waves, blow on the sail, etc.)

Get a piece of blue constuction paper to represent water. Have children make waves with crayolas, then make sail boats from triangles and rectangles. Add this rhyme to the picture:


Look in the
Toy box.
find a
Little boat.
Put it
In the water
And watch
It float

poem by Elizabeth Mckinnon
~Idea submitted by Karen in KS

Docking Your Boat

Let the children use watercolors to paint waves on the bottom half of a piece of paper. Glue three craft sticks on the paper to make a dock. Give each child a toothpick and paper to make a sail. The children trace and cut a triangle and glue it to the toothpick. Then they insert the toothpick into a styrofoam egg cup and glue it to the paper near the dock.

Theme Ideas

Boat Talk

Boats are used for work and play. Show pictures of different kinds of boats and let the children tell which kinds they have seen. Point out that boats are moved by motors, oars, or sails. Boats need help to stay in one place--out on the water an anchor is dropped, and on shore, they are tied to a dock. Docks are flat platforms built along the shore. People tie their boats to them and use them for loading and unloading. You often see people sitting on the docks fishing.

Kitchen-Sink Experiment

Have you ever wondered how a 70,000-ton freighter stays afloat? With this kitchen-sink experiment from Making Things Float and Sink (Copper Beach Books), you can help your child learn how the shape of an object can determine whether it floats or not.

Fill a sink or washtub with water and ask your child to try floating a marble in it. Ask her to do the same with a lump of modeling clay. Once she's watched these objects sink, tell her that both the marble and the clay are made of materials that are much more compact, or denser than water.

Next, ask her to mold a small rowboat out of the same lump of clay. Encourage her to build up the sides of the vessel and to hollow out the inside. For fun, she can draw a small paper oarsman and sitting bench to place in the boat. Once everything's shipshape, she can try to float the craft. She may be surprised to see that the very clay that sank before will float when it is shaped into a boat. Explain that the craft is buoyant because it is filled with air. The combined densities of the clay and the air are less than the density of the water.

To see how buoyant her boat is, your junior shipbuilder can add a cargo of marbles one at a time until the craft sinks. Then she can rework the clay into a few different-shaped boats to see which model will carry the most marbles.

Found in Family Fun March 1996. Good for older preschoolers or school-age children.

~Submitted by Melissa


Boat Craft - DLTK
Fish In a Boat - Everything Preschool
Boats - KidSparkz
Boats Afloat - Preschool Express
Boats - ECE Kids
Preschool Boat Theme - Steemit

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