Workshop Wednesday: Make A Three Mast Pirate Ship

17 August 2011

Pirate ship completeLast week, I had a fabulous day at the London Transport Museum with my son. They're running workshops in the learning centre every day during the holidays. On this particular day the theme was to do with the water. Children could make a boat or a bridge.

The only requirement was that the boat had to float down the river they had built in the room, and the bridge had to be able to carry the weight of a toy black cab.

We had a huge amount of fun making a boat. My son decided he wanted to make a pirate ship. He picked out all the materials, and came up with the design, and we built it together. This project took about an hour to complete, and the end result is fabulous. And bath friendly.

If I can do this trust me, ANYONE can!

For this project you will need:

  • a tub for the boat - we used a tin takeaway container
  • sticks or straw for the masts
  • material for the sails
  • something for fixing the masts
  • wool for the rigging
  • sticky tape
  • scissors
  • lollipop sticks
  • pipecleaners (optional)

Pirate ship 1First, we used a piece of corrugated plastic to fix the masts. You could use something else as thick, or blue-tac. I had a hole punch that made holes the same size as the wood dowling. Or you could just use scissors. We put a strip of sticky tape underneath the plastic, so the sticky part was under the holes. Then I taped it into the centre of the boat.

Next I cut the wooden stick into three pieces of different lengths. You could use straws for this as well. Four square pieces of material went on to the masts at different heights to make the sails. These went into the holes, and I secured them with sticky tape.

We measured out two lengths of wool to go from the top of a mast to the side. I taped these to the top of the mast (as before, this was too tricky for my son's hands to manage) and to the sides. Plus one long strip of sticky tape along the side. I found that the tape peeled quite easily, so I used a pipe cleaner along the side that I secured by pushing the rim over it, as well as a little bit of sticky tape.

If you've a glue gun you won't need to do any of this.

The bowspirit is made of two lollipop sticks. To balance the ship, we made a little 'deck' of two lots of three lollipop sticks, sticky taped together. This was secured to the back of the ship.

You could also make an anchor using a pipecleaner and some of the wool.

Pirate ship 2

What do you think?

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