I remembered learning how to make a rubber-band powered boat out of a Styrofoam plate when I was young, and just knew it would make for some thrifty summer fun. This project was a hit at my house. Kids making their own toys — what’s not to love? It’s frugal and it keeps the kids busy during the summer.
The supplies are simple. You’ll need a rubber band, scissors, marker, straight edge and some type of material that will float and can be cut with scissors. We didn’t have any foam plates on hand, so we used a piece of cardboard that we covered with duct tape to make it more water-resistant.
The exact measurements are not really important here. Since you’ll be using “found” (and free) materials, adapt the proportions as needed.
3. Now take the rectangle that you set aside and trim it by about a quarter of an inch on all sides. This doesn’t have to be exact, but it will need room to move freely when it is placed back into the space you cut it from.
5. Slip the rubber band onto your boat, over the empty space you cut out. Place the propeller (the rectangle you cut out and trimmed) into the rubber band, wind it up, and let it go. Does it move freely? You might find that you need to trim it a bit more.
7. Now that your propeller is wound, just place the boat in a bathtub or backyard pool and let it go!
See the video tutorial: rubber band boat
If you’re into crafts, check out some of our previous projects: