Ice Boat Races

Play this fun water activity for kids and host your very own ice boat water race! Kids will love this cool, water-based game that will keep them outdoors for an hour or more. Make dozens of boats for all-day outdoor fun and games with ice!
Ice Boat Races - this is such a fun, easy-to-make summer activity for kids of all ages. Perfect for cooling off this summer, summer bucket list, water games, kids activities for more.

Water Activity for Kids: Ice Boat Water Race

Try this fun ice boat water race on a hot summer day this year!

ice boat race 2

How to Make a Ice Boat Water Race

This game requires a little bit of advanced set-up. You'll need the following materials to get started:
  • Garden hose
  • Aluminum foil
  • Silicone muffin/cupcake molds
  • Drinking straws
  • Cardstock paper
  • Gluesticks
  • Food coloring
  • Timer or stop watch (you can also use your phone)
The day/night before, pour colored water into your cupcake molds. You'll want to have three boats for each person. We used the same color of food coloring for each person. Place the molds on a cookie sheet or large plate.
water games

Cover the top of each mold with aluminum foil. Poke a small hole in the center piece of each foil and stick half of a drinking straw in the center of each cup. This will become the boats' masts.

Wait for the ice to harden.

The next day, cut triangles of paper from cardstock. Glue the paper sails to the boats. Put the ice boats back in the freezer.

Make trenches from aluminum foil. We first folded long sheets of foil in thirds to hide the dangerous edges. Then, we folded the ends over about 1/2 an inch, then 1/2 an inch again to give the trenches stand-up sides.

Take everything outside.

summer activities for kids

Ice Boat Water Race Rules

Set up your trenches by placing one side on an elevated surface (anything will work). Place the boats on the top of the slides.

When you say "go" use the water hose to push the ice boats down the trench. Time how long it takes for the boats to reach the bottom.

Repeat for each set of boats you have.

Find the average times, then the person who's boats were consistently the fastest is the winner!

Summer Activities

Brenda is a full-time writer and homeschooling mom to two girls. Brenda blogs about STEM activities and ADHD homeschooling at Schooling a Monkey. When she isn't working, you'll find Brenda sipping on coffee with her nose in a book.

Beth Gorden
Beth Gorden

Beth Gorden is a homeschooling mother of six who strives to enjoy every moment with her kids through hands-on learning, crafts, new experiences, and lots of playing together. Beth is also the creator and author of 123 Homeschool 4 Me where she shares 1000+ free printables, creative homeschool lessons, crafts, and other fun ideas to help preschool and homeschooling families have fun while learning and exploring together.