Making BOATS From Recyclables

boats recyclables boats recyclables

I‘ve never seen my kids get so excited over an activity that costs so little and requires ZERO prep on my part (other than saving recyclables).  You don’t need a pool — just a bathtub, a bin with water, or a stream (which is what I used when I was little). This activity is perfect for 4-10 year olds, but even Tess (at age 2) got excited over her little boat. 


  • Recyclables: i.e. Milk cartons, takeout containers (holla CPK!), egg cartons, plastic bottles, cardboard
  • Duct tape: bonus points for fun colors like pink or green
  • Popsicle or Craft Sticks (not necessary) but come in handy

Anything that holds liquid (milk carton, water bottles) serves as buoyant base. Egg cartons are excellent seats for little people.  Fun colors of cardboard make for really great sails and flags.  Attach a string to pull your boat along.  Rip off the tape before re-recycling – although Ford insisted on keeping his submarine and is still playing with it 2 months later…

Like what you see? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Elle Walker is a co-founder at What's Up Moms and the mom to three kids (10, 7, 5). In her spare time, she loves testing out kids activities (often muttering, "Pinterest, you lie"), to find the best activities that minimize set-up, reduce costs, and uses stuff up around the house. Follow her behind the scenes at Instagram @whatsupelle. {{Privy:Embed campaign=591322}}