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Float a Leaf Boat

For some old-fashioned fun you can have on a stream, pond, or lake, try making your own leaf boats.

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Average Rating:
Participant Age: 7 to 12, 12 and up, Under 7
Approximate Cost: $0
Duration: 1 to 60 minutes
Difficulty:
Physical Challenge:
  • Broad, strong leaves, such as milkweed
  • Rubber boots
Find some broad, strong leaves.

We found that milkweed leaves were big and strong, although we needed to be careful of the sticky sap when we folded the leaves.

Be careful to avoid poison ivy and poison oak leaves.

Fold one end of the leaf toward the center.


Rip the folded part into three equal sections.
Make the rips go down about one inch.
Tuck the two outer sections inside one another.
This will make one end of your boat fold up.
Add a lightweight passenger if you'd like.
We used part of a coneflower.
Launch your leaf boat into a stream or pond.
Test to see which kind of leaf floats the best.
Gently wade beside your leaf boats.
You can have races between boats.
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