How to Make a Paper Boat That Floats on Water

By Leslie R. Thompson

Kids can make paper boats to float, race and play with. They can also learn something in the process. Teach them how to use different tools, such as a compass and ruler, in ways they would never have thought of. Float the boats in a bathtub or stream when you are done.

Making the Boat

Mark two dots in the center of the index card, equidistant from each other and the short sides of the card.

Put the point of the compass on the dot and draw a circle around each dot.

Draw a straight line, using the ruler, from the outer edge of one circle to the other. Repeat on the other side. You should now have an oval.

Cut out the entire oval. On the edges of the short, rounded edge of the oval, draw a straight line from the center of the curve to the dot in the middle. Cut along these two lines.

Gently fold the long edges of the oval about half an inch deep to form the sides of the boat.

Overlap the edges of the cut line on the rounded edges by one quarter of an inch and glue the overlap into place. Do this on both ends. Hold in place until the glue dries.


Use index cards or card stock for a sturdier boat. These boats can carry some weight such as pebbles. Experiment with different sized circles, and more circles to make larger boats.