Over the next two months, we will be posting one nature or art-inspired boat each week - that we float in puddles, ponds and streams outside in nature. The goal is to create interesting nature and art-inspired STEM boats and build an inspired collection of fun outdoor boat ideas for spring.

Join in on the fun, use the hashtag #livingchildhoodoutside and we may feature your boat idea on this blog, with all credits going to you on the photo! Even if you don’t get a feature here, we will share all boat ideas to our stories on Instagram @acorns.and.aprons - we can’t wait to see what you come up with.

We suggest that you sail your boat in shallow water only. Somewhere that is easy to retrieve your boat. Be careful of current and don’t go too deep in the water. The best places are narrow streams, puddles and the edge of ponds. Wide open water is not recommended, plus you might lose your boat. A great way to bring water to you, if you don’t have a safe stream or puddle, is to put some water in a large container or bucket and float your boat in your backyard.

Outdoor Gear: rainboots are a must! Rain pants are also a good idea!

Nature walk: Collect some nature items that you find on the forest floor prior to building your boats. The items you collect will inspire the materials you use for your boat. You can also use items around the house, from fruit in your kitchen to crafting supplies…the possibilities are endless.

STEM building: Measurements and density matter! Take care in choosing your materials, they obviously need to stay afloat. The sail cannot be too tall, and if it is, build the base bigger and wider! If at first you don’t succeed, adjust your materials and measurements and try again! These observations and experimentations are the early basics of understanding the scientific method and also fostering fascination with problem-solving and innovation.

Here is our growing list of boat ideas:

#1. Butternut or Walnut shells and leaf Nature Boats:

1. Collect some leafs and walnuts or butternut shells.

2. Secure a toothpick with play clay, or with a hole.

3. Add a leaf by poking the toothpick through it.

Enjoy sailing your nature boat in a puddle, stream or anywhere else outside!

#2 Butternut shell or Walnut shell and Birch bark Nature boats:

No glue needed.

1. Add a hole pin to the middle part of a walnut to secure a toothpick, or secure it with a bit of play clay or glue.

2. Add a piece of birch bark to the toothpick, by cutting two small holes and weaving the toothpick through. We made our birch bark into triangle shapes.

#3. Leaf and wood Boats with a mushroom design on them:

1. Create a small hole into the bark or wooden slice.

2. Paint a mushroom design onto a leaf, or glue a piece of paper or fabric design onto the leaf.

3. Place the leaf stem into the hole on the bark, secure it with glue if needed.

#4 Surrealist Butterfly Boat: