Ice Boats

These little sailboats made out of ice, paper, and drinking straws are perfect for some fun summer crafting and play.
Ice Boat craft


  • Fastfood soda cup or plastic tub with lid
  • Drinking straws
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Masking tape

Safety Tips

  • Watch out for this sign Ask for an adult's help.. It means adult help is needed for the particular step.


Step 1 Ice Boat craft 1. This craft is a good way to reuse a fastfood soda cup or any plastic tub with lid (e.g. ice cream tub). Rinse the cup or tub, including the lid.
Step 2 Ice Boat craft 2. Fill the cup or tub with 2 to 3 inches of water. The blue line marks the water level in my cup.
Step 3 Ice Boat craft Ask for an adult's help.3. Punch a small hole at the center of the lid, if it doesn't have one yet. The hole should be just big enough for a drinking straw. If you're using a soda cup, this step wouldn't be necessary as the lid already has a hole for the straw.

Put the lid on. Push the straw through the hole on the lid until it is touching the bottom of the container.
Step 4 Ice Boat craft Ask for an adult's help.4. If necessary, place masking tape around the hole to keep the straw centered and upright. Place the container in the freezer. If the straw is too tall for your freezer, trim an inch or more off the top of the straw.
Step 5a Ice Boat craft 5. Cut a paper triangle to make the sail. Punch a pair of holes on the sail—one near the top and an opposite hole near the bottom.
Step 5b Ice Boat craft If you wish the sail to be waterproof, cut it from colorful plastic bags or from wax paper.

To make wax paper sails, decorate a sheet of wax paper with oil pastels or colored permanent markers. Cut several triangular sails from the wax paper. Punch a pair of holes on each sail.
Step 6 Ice Boat craft 6. When the water inside the container is fully frozen, carefully remove the masking tape around the drinking straw and open the lid. Wait a few minutes for the ice to loosen or you may run the tap around the outside of the container to loosen the ice.
Step 7 Ice Boat craft 7. Place the ice in a plate or bowl.
Step 8 Ice Boat craft 8. Insert the top of the straw through the sail's bottom hole, then through the top hole. You may trim the top of the drinking straw if it is too tall.
Step 9a Ice Boat craft 9. Your ice boat is ready for sailing! Watch it sail in a bathtub, swimming pool or pond. The bigger the ice, the longer before the ice melts completely.

More Ideas

Ice boat container without lid

Lidless Containers

Wonder how to keep the drinking straw upright in a lidless container? Try using a strip of cardboard. Punch a hole at the center of a 2-inch wide strip of cardboard. Position the strip at the center of the container. Bend the cardboard where it touches the top edge of the container. Tape the ends of the cardboard in place. Place a drinking straw through the hole.
Ice boat container without lid Another option you can do is to use four crisscrossing strips of masking tape or pipe cleaner to hold the drinking straw in place at the center of the container.
Colored ice boats

Colored Ice

Add several drops of food coloring to the water in Step 2 to come up with colored ice boats. While sailing your sailboats, watch the melting ice color your tub of water—a fun way to observe and learn about color mixing!