August 20, 2020

Nature Challenge: Build a Raft

It has been a summer filled with indoor living and people finding new experiences close to home. What my little family has enjoyed doing is going for daily walks. Sometimes we do a lot of talking while other days we don’t do any at all, and that’s okay. We are making time to be together, something that has become extremely important to us right now. In fact, family time has probably become a priority in many people’s lives throughout the world. 

A couple of weeks ago I was going to be watching my niece for a few days. Before she came, I was racking my brain as to what kinds of things I could do with her and my daughter. (Thank goodness for Curiosity Box Camp Box!). One day we went for a hike through our local park, which happens to have a pond and river in the middle. I thought to myself, what if I challenge her to build a raft using only materials found in nature? So that’s my challenge to you this weekend:

Build a raft/boat using only materials that you can find in nature that will float down a river or in a pond. You are also allowed to use about 1 meter of string. 

Some things to remember: Please do not damage any living things or other people’s property. It works well if you are on a hiking trail for this! Need to up the challenge and have multiple people participating? Make it a race! First one to cross the finish line wins. You could also make this a timed event with the option of redesigning your floatation device to be more aerodynamic and go faster every time you run the “course”. Continue to step up the challenge by requiring the boat to carry a load or stones (or other items you find around the area where you are working). 

We had a lot of fun designing, building and redesigning this little raft. I even brought out the baby bath tub to use as a test center so that when we brought it down to the pond at the park, we knew it would float (just not how it would handle the waterfall or the little river). 

NOTE: watch your children around water, as it can be very tempting to play in and they can get swept away very easily.