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Let’s make foil boats

What you need

  • Some tin foil
  • Some water in a sink
  • A container or the bathtub
  • Some lightweight objects (something like penny coins is ideal)


This activity is a great way to explore cause and effect, balance and making predictions – all valuable scientific skills!

The experience

Support your child in creating a foil boat. They can make their boat as large as they would like but remind them it needs to keep water out so it can float. 

This may involve lots of experimenting and retrying to make the boat which is great for critical thinking. Try to encourage your child to have a go themselves before making suggestions for them, but depending on age and development, they may need some help to come up with the right solutions. 

Once the boat is successfully afloat, suggest adding some weight to it. Provide a selection of pennies or other lightweight objects, and observe what happens when one goes into the boat. Encourage your child to predict what will happen if more go in? How many could you put in until the boat sinks?! Have fun experimenting together and observing what happens.