Before you call CPS about this, we don't actually drink, but I asked my Aunt to start saving her wine corks for us and just one week later we had ALL these!
Okay not really, it took her a long, long time to collect this many for us (thank you). In fact, I actually came up with the idea of making these little cork boats with the kids last year and it's taken this long for the harmonic convergence of enough supplies, running water in the creek and nice weather.
Hot Glue Gun
Small Eye Screws
Sticks or Bark
I'm pretty sure most of you can figure this out from just looking at the pictures, but just in case, here's a quick step-by-step.
1. Start collecting corks in a baggie in your kitchen. Every time you pop open a bottle just tell yourself,"This is for the little children." And if you don't imbibe, ask your alcoholic friends and relatives to help you out--they owe it to you for all those nights you drove them home safely while listening to their drunken babble.
2. Hot glue 3 or more corks together and let dry.
3. Screw an eye screw into the end of each tiny raft.
4. Cut out a small foam triangle or trapezoid and spear it with a toothpick.
5. Stick the toothpick into the top of the raft.
6. Tie a really long length of string or twine onto the eye screw. Tie the other end around another cork, a small stick or piece of bark. This is your handle/anchor.
7. Go find any body of water: a pond, a stream, a pool, even a filled bucket will satisfy very small children.
Unlike the Upcycled Garden Marker project, the kids (and the cat) really enjoyed this.
Today we just had a nice, relaxing float in the wide spot of the creek that runs through our property. Tomorrow, we're planning to send Huck several yards up the creek to a small waterfall to let some boats go while Mima and I wait downstream with a net to see if we can catch them.
We also plan to decorate some sails and have Cork Boat Races from our neighbor's house, above the waterfall, down to the wider pool below.
UPDATED TO ADD: For some awesome wooden boatmaking inspiration check out the Summer 2011 Edition of Living Crafts Magazine. Imagine my surprise when I pulled mine out of the mail box today. A timely post indeed! And if you don't want to pony up for a subscription, back issues are often available for trade on Blarter (an online community of bloggers who barter) or at your local library. The Living Crafts website and blog is also full of great free articles and tutorials.