Simple DIY Boats in the Water Table


We recently had a pool noodle break on us, so I turned it into simple DIY boats to enhance our water table play.

 Simple Boats in the Water Table

(E was 33 months old.)

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You’ll need:

  • Pool noodle.
  • Knife.
  • Water table.
  • Toothpicks (optional).
  • Scraps of paper (optional).
  • Scotch tape (optional).
  • Fizzy tub colors (optional).



How to make simple DIY boats:

If you don’t have a really old pool noodle handy that you can just pull apart with your hands {that’s what I did with ours}, cut it into sections, maybe two inches long. Cut each section in half lengthwise. If you want, attach “sails” made from scraps of paper to the toothpicks {I used Post-It notes to avoid having to use extra tape}, then stick the bottoms of the toothpicks into the pool noodle “boats”.


Simple Boats in the Water Table


Of course, E insisted on using “Elmo” {for the picture on the packaging of the fizzy bathtub colors} on the water – the color mixing never gets old!


Simple Boats in the Water Table


 Once the water was suitably colorful, E added the boats.


Putting the first boat into the water.


They float, but E experimented with pushing them under the water.


Pushing a boat under water.


She’s really into numbers right now, so she made sure to count the boats {and came up with 5 😉 }.


Counting the Boats


 The “sails” came apart fairly easily, so E had to fix them a few times.




Surprisingly, there really wasn’t much splashing this time but clearly, some of that orange water had to go join the blue water in the lower compartment 😉


Splashing water.


We had some extra toothpicks, so E played with those for a while.


Playing with toothpicks.


Submerging toothpicks.


To get the wigglies out, she decided to walk in circles around the water table, holding on to the edge – I was surprised she didn’t get dizzy but she was just fine 😉


Walking in circles around the water table.


After that, she went and got the slide that came with the water table – I never get it out but she usually insists on making it a part of her water play, even though it’s not stable at all and has to be put back together repeatedly.




She tried to put the boats through the slide




and they got stuck – E thought that was hilarious 😉




They went down the ramp in the water table itself much more easily.




The toothpicks had a much easier time navigating the slide.




 We were both really pleased with this fun water play time with minimal supplies!




Additional suggestions:

  • You can absolutely do this in the sink, a plastic bin or even the bathtub if you don’t have or don’t want to use a water table. {Although I can assure you, our water table was worth every penny, and we’ve only had it for a few weeks!}
  • Make more elaborate diy boats from other upcycled items.
  • Explore sinking and floating items.
  • Explore color mixing.




How have you enjoyed water play lately? Have you made your own boats? Leave a comment to tell me about it!




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  1. Yet another thing to use those pool noodles for! I love these!

    1. You’re right, they really are very versatile! The number of pool noodles we actually use in the pool has been going down suspiciously quickly 😉

  2. E looks so sweet playing with her boats. I love coming up with ideas for re-purposing worn-out objects. Love the coloured water, too – everything is better in colour!

    1. Thank you, Lucinda! She sure loves the fizzy bath colors – every time we get out the water table, it’s the first thing she asks for. And I have to agree that they look very cheerful!