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Walnut Boats

Book: The GIANT Encyclopedia of Art & Craft Activities for Children 3 to 6





The Arts: Visual Arts


Fine Motor




Individual Child

PDF Available


Walnut shells you want perfect half-shells, so crack them carefully
Small bits of beeswax or clay (beeswax works better as it doesn’t dry out)
String cut in 9” to 12” (22 cm to 30 cm) lengths
Paper scraps
Water table, tub, large dishpan, or creek
Buttons, optional


What to do
1. Crack nuts and have the children help you remove the nut meats. This may mean snack time to
them! Save the rest for a baking project. Note: A friend told me that an oyster shucker is great
for opening walnuts when you don’t want to break the shells. Just stick it in the little opening
often found at the flat end of the walnut and wriggle it open.
2. Place one end of the string in the bottom of any walnut shell and press a small ball of beeswax
(or clay) over it to hold it in place.
3. Cut a tiny sail shape from a scrap of paper and poke a toothpick through it. Now the boat has a
sail on its mast.
4. Stick the bottom end of the toothpick into the ball of beeswax.
5. If you want, attach a button to the loose end of the string. This gives the children more to hold
on to as they pull their sailboats around the water.
More to do
More art: Make boats of paper or wood scraps.

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