Friday, 13 September 2013

Making a Pirate Ship

Well, we have finally had another event that can be filed under the category "Kids' Activities." Not that the kids haven't been doing any activities of course. They've actually been quite good at entertaining themselves recently (though the cutting obsession creates quite a mess). But Uncle David brought us some milk the other day, at my request, and it came in a cardboard carton instead of the usual plastic bottle, and suddenly a whole new world opened up.

Reuben was given an activity book for his birthday (by one of those kind neighbours of mine) that is perhaps a little old for him. Well - any child really would need some adult help. It's vaguely pirate-focused, and Reuben had been very keen to make a boat, once we got hold of a milk carton. So when one arrived in our fridge Reuben was right on to it. I must admit we made it when I *really* didn't feel like it, but doing what I was told seemed easier than putting up a fight (why doesn't everyone in this household feel that way?).

I wonder if you and yours are interested in giving this a go? It is quite nice to achieve something, and Reuben loved it. I won't put up a long and detailed recipe, but here are the pics and a few tips on what we did. Ask me questions if you like, or I'm sure you'll be more than capable of winging it...

Required items:
Cereal box
Milk carton (1 or 2)
Yoghurt container or similar small plastic pottle
Kebab sticks
Piece of paper
Stanley knife or small sharp vege knife

Slide the milk carton in to the open cereal box to get a rough guide of the size you are after. Draw a line on the cereal box to cut out the boat shape. Cut off the top flaps at the opening, and then follow the lines you've drawn. You're cutting the cereal box approximately in half, with a higher bit at the back for the top deck.

Glue the milk carton in to the cereal box, fold the ends of the cereal box around the end of the milk carton and sellotape it closed (if, like ours, your glue wasn't very good at sticking shiny cardboard, this sellotaping will help hold the milk carton in place).

Push a hole through the milk carton for the kebab stick (I used a stanley knife), cut out a square paper sail, push it on to the kebab stick, and add the bottom half of a yoghurt pottle to the top.

Our instructions suggest cutting the bottom out of another milk carton and attaching it at the back of the boat to create an upper deck. You can put a second kebab stick and sail on top of this second deck. We're currently waiting on a second milk carton, and I am concerned we may be waiting a while.

If the focus is still there - or comes back another day - the next step, of course, is to paint it.

What have you done with your kids this week? Do you have any ideas you can pass on?


  1. I love this. I am ridiculously lazy when it comes to undertaking crafty projects with my children... This we might manage.

    The only thing I have managed recently with them, also on a pirate theme, is making treasure maps - tear the edges off a piece of paper to make it look old (my sister burns the edges of hers, but I'm not brave enough!) scrunch it up a bit, then leave it to soak in a tray of cold tea for an hour or so to get that "authentic" colour - when it's dry you have some perfect parchment for drawing a treasure map of your own design.

    1. Brilliant! There's something very similar in our pirate book where we painted paper with coffee. We did a few things wrong so keep meaning to do attempt #2.

  2. Great stuff, Joshua is very keen to make one of these soon...just need to finish the weetbix and find a plastic pot :)