Bottle Cap Sail Boats

Completed Sailboats made out of bottle caps

Bottle Cap Sail Boats

Wind is a powerful force that humans have harnessed with technology for generations. The sail boat was one of the first technologies that took advantage of that resource.

I wanted to give Little M. The opportunity to make a sail boat (or a few) of her own out of materials that we already have available here at home. I needed a small waterproof vessel, and disposable bottle caps fit the bill. Add a mast and a sail, and you are ready to sail the seven seas (or something).

You will need:
  • bottle caps, washed and dried
  • hot glue
  • toothpicks
  • paper
  • markers, crayons, or colored pencils

The night before this activity, fill the bottle caps about 1/3 of the way full with hot glue. Place a toothpick in each one to act as the mast. If it falls over, wait a minute or two and straighten it again. Eventually, the glue will be cool enough to keep the toothpick straight.

coloring in the sails

Draw the sails on a piece of paper. Our sails were squares: 2 in, 2 1/2 in, 3 in, 3 1/2 in. Feel free to experiment with sizes and shapes. Invite your student to decorate the sails. Help them cut them out. Poke the toothpick through the bottom and top of the sail. You have a tiny sailboat!

Fill a large container (under the bed storage containers work well) with water. Place the boats gently into the water and try to blow them to the other side of the container with straws or hand fans.

sailboats floating in the water

Of our four boats the two larger sails capsized almost immediately. The other two boats lasted for about ten minutes before they capsized as well. The boats can be dried out and reused with new sails. Little M. greatly enjoyed this activity, and I hope you will too!

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  1. This is a really cute idea! I love that at the end you tested them in water to float!!

    1. Thank you so much! We had so much fun racing them.


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