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Four different kinds of sponge boats.

Overview

Looking for a fun activity to do with the kids? Try making a sponge boat! This easy and inexpensive D.I.Y. project is suitable for kids of all ages, and makes for a great party game or rainy-day activity. 

Sponge boats are fun to make and fun to play with. They can be used in a tub of water, in the bath, in a pool or at your local lake to have a sailboat race!

Tools and materials

Steps

1Choose your sponge type

First, choose the sponge type and colour you’re going to use for this project. There’s a huge variety of sizes and colours to choose from to make your boat. 
Green Bunnings hammer
Tip: If you’ve got a few kids to entertain, have an assortment of sponges for them to choose from.
Woman choosing from different sponges.

2Cut the sponge into shape

Boat-makers can customise the shape of their sponge boat. Simply use a pair of scissors to cut the boat into any shape you like. We’ve gone with a nice, pointed edge at the front of the boat; it looks stylish and should help with speed in the water, too!
Woman cutting sponge into shape with scissors.

3Cut and colour your sail

Use cardboard or paper to cut out a sail for your boat with a pair of scissors. Once you have your sail shape, use markers or crayons to create patterns or colour in the sail. Get creative!  
Woman applying colour to the cut out of sail.

4Attach sail to sponge

Now it’s time to assemble your sponge boat. With a skewer, carefully pierce a corner of your sail to create a hole. Repeat this step on the opposite corner of your sail.

Next, you’ll want to poke a hole into your sponge – this is where the “mast” will go. Thread the sail onto your skewer and place it into the hole you created in the sponge. Adjust the sail as needed. 

Woman attaching sail to the sponge.

5Test it out

Now it’s time for the fun part. Test out your boat in the bath or sink before taking it out to a nearby lake or river. It’s best to allow the sponge to absorb a little water before letting it go.

Green Bunnings hammer
Tip: Try making a few sponge boat designs in different shapes and sizes to see which boat goes the fastest!
Testing out the boat in the sink filled with water.

6Ready to start your next craft project with the kids?

We have a wide range of craft supplies and ideas to spark kids’ creativity and curiosity.

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.