VBS Project 1: Noah’s Paper Boat

lots of boats

lots of boats

Okay, so there was this guy named Noah and he built a really big boat. I am sure if you have been to Bible School, you probably have heard of him. With only thirty minutes per class session, I thought a simple origami project would be easier than an elaborate, Popsicle-stick ark.

I told Danyelle that I was thinking of making paper boats for our first craft, she piped up that it would be great if we made them out of wax paper so that the kids could actually float them down the river during their stay at Camp Fraser. Just like Curious George in Curious George Rides a Bike. Instead of delivering papers on his new paper route, he uses the newspapers to create lots of tiny boats instead. Big trouble!

Using the same model, I was able to find a couple of different sets of instructions on the Internet. One was a copy of this old illustration of how to make a paper boat. It is fairly detailed with the written instructions. I found it far easier to follow than some of the photographic illustrations.

The best set of instructions came from this web site that had moving animations of each fold. I was able to practice making the boats several times before going to class. It is a fairly simple project. But the last step, which almost looks like you are peeling open a lotus blossom can get pretty tricky. It takes a few times to achieve a smooth fold into your final boat formation.

decorating the boat

decorating the boat

The kids were amazed. No need for foam rubber stickers here! We created two boats each. One out of regular office paper and a second out of wax paper. We had markers and crayons to color them. I also brought my animal stamps to decorate the ark with pairs of animals. But we didn’t have enough time to use the stamps.

Since I only had a roll of wax paper, I prepared the materials by tearing sheets, using the copy paper as my guide. To straighten my edges, I folded the paper in half – tall and skinny like a hot dog first. This allowed me to use the rolls outer edges, which were straight. Then I folded the sheet in half. I ignored the edges I cut, until I trimmed them to get a rectangular sheet. No need for a ruler.

group coloring is easier with lots of teeny markers

group coloring is easier with lots of teeny markers

Crayola has classroom sets of teeny markers so kids don’t have to fight over the colors. I loved how small they were because that is also less plastic for an item that is ultimately tossed at some point.

comparing boats

comparing boats

At the beginning of each class, I talked about the day’s theme. For this class I also shared the pictures of this man who created a giant boat out of Tetrapak. They loved seeing this man riding in his paper boat. So cool.

The Skinny on Paper Boats
Instructions
Animated instructions
Printable Instructions

Materials
8.5 x 11 paper (or any rectangular sheet)

Extras
Crayons
Markers
Animal Stamps
Wax paper
Scissors (only for wax paper)

This is Project 1 of four puppets and origami projects I shared in June 2010 during Vacation Bible School at Calvary Baptist Church.

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