Sunday, November 8, 2015

Mayflower Boat Races

 Teaching young kids all about Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims, and the Mayflower can be quite confusing. We read lots of books (If You Sailed On The Mayflower in 1620 and The Story of the Pilgrims are two great ones for younger kids), but nothing beats a good activity to relate to what we've read about. We made our own Mayflower boats, experimented if they floated or not, and then (after we determined that they did in fact float) had races to the new world.

 We started by painting empty applesauce containers brown. I actually recommend not doing this step as we used washable paint and all of the paint melted off as soon as a drop of water touched it. I didn't think that one through. When the paint dried, we tried the boats out in water. They floated well so we decided to try out objects in our boats. One of the kids grabbed a pilgrim from our Thanksgiving Little People set

We also tried out coins in the boats to see how many coins it held before it sank. An experiment and a little bit of math in one.

After all of our experimenting and counting, we played a game: Mayflower Boat Races. The kids put Little People figurines in their boats and then blew on them to get them across the ocean (or in this case a long Sterilite tub) to the new world. They loved it so much that they also had the boats go back to England because "the pilgrims probably needed to go home to visit family too."
The kids had so much fun with this afternoon of activities that they asked me to keep the bin out to continue playing "pilgrims and the Mayflower." It was great.....until a caped boy fell into the water. I don't believe that happened in 1620.