Instant Challenge #2: Boat Race Solutions

If you missed it, be sure to see my introductory post for rules and more information!

Challenge: Your task is to create a boat that will race across the water as quickly as possible.

The Set Up:

A table with materials:
  • 3 straws
  • 10 craft sticks
  • 3 styrofoam cups
  • 3 marshmallows
  • 1 piece of string
  • 1 piece fo foil
  • 3 mailing labels
  • 2 chenille sticks
  • 1 piece of paper

And a tub of {cold} water with a taped line. {Mental note to self: don't use hot soapy water to race your boat made with marshmallows. Better yet, don't try to multi-task and do dishes and set up for an instant challenge at the same time. Or else you will forget to shut off the water and the sink will overflow and you will have the bright idea to use the dish water for the challenge and the water will melt the marshmallows. lol}

Time: 2 minute brainstorming session followed by 8 minutes to create the boat and up to 2 minutes to race.

Nathan (11) and Dylan (9) worked together on this challenge.

They divided up the tasks and they decided that Nathan would work on the boat . . .

. . . while Dylan worked on the sail.

Attaching the sail to the boat.

The boat is finished, now for the race . . .

It floats!

Ooops, not for long. {The sail is top heavy} "But, wait!" Nathan says. "That is just the sail. We still have a boat!"

So they race their boat across the water. It still moves but not as quickly as it would with a sail. {I had to remind them to stay behind the line} {Shortly after they raced the marshmallows began to melt from the hot water.}

Their score:
  • 10 pts for having a boat at the end of part 1.
  • 15 out of 30 pts for how fast their boat raced across the water. {Would have been quicker with a sail).
  • 10 out of 20 points for how creatively their boat raced across the water. {They blew the boat. But after the race they had tug-o-war races with the boat. They each stood on each side of the tub and blew to see who could get the boat to the other side. Nothing to do with the challenge really but I though it was a creative game}
  • 15 out of 20 pts for how creatively they used the materials. {They did well overall, but did not use all of their materials ~ the string fell on the floor}
  • 20 out of 20 points for how well they worked together. {I loved how they divided up the tasks and worked on each part and then assembled it. I also liked how they did not give up when the sail fell.}
Total: 70 points out of 100.

I think this challenge was a fun one. (They had plenty of time to complete it.) If I had written my tip for this week last week, I would have had them try it again to see if they could make a sail.

Was anyone else up for a challenge this week? You are welcome to link up until I post the solution for our next challenge!

Malachi's boat. *Ü*

This week's Instant Challenge: Cup Holder.


  1. I love their sail! It is so fun to see what the kids come up with. I love seeing them working together--tell your boys we think they did a great job!

  2. Awesome! Sorry I missed this one...

  3. I just posted my link! :) The girls had fun with this one today ~ and thanks for the water temp tip!