The Skipjack was designated the official state boat of Maryland in 1985. Skipjacks are the last working boats in the US, they are used to dredged oysters from the floor of the Chesapeake Bay in winter time. They are typically 25-50 feet in length and are known for their speed. The Chesapeake Bay Skipjack Fleet has been listed as a National treasure in danger of extinction.
This activity is a super easy and fun craft to teach the kids about the Skip Jack boats.
- Tin Foil
- wooden Skewers
- Plain Copy Paper for Sails (or cardstock)
- Clay or Play-doh to secure sails to boat
- Markers, stickers, crayons or anything else you’d like to use to decorate the sails and boat
STEP 1: Fold cardboard into a U shape and tape around ends so the cardboard holds its shape.
STEP 2: Cover entire thing with foil to prevent water from seeping into boat.
STEP 3: Place 2 clumps of play-doh into boat, one on each end for balance.
STEP 4: Cut 1 large and 1 smaller triangle shape out of plain copy paper, then decorate as desired. Weave paper onto wooden skewer to make the sail.
STEP 5: Name your boat, then take a photo of your new Skip Jack BEFORE sailing…you know, just in case…
STEP 6: Now comes the exciting part! Fill a tub, sink, or large Tupperware container with water and take your new boats for a test run.
I’m pleased to report that all the boats floated…for awhile anyway… Last time we tried this they sank right away, this time they took on water much slower, and actually floated around for quite sometime before starting to tip. So all in all I think it was a success!
And there’s nothing like a hands-on activity to help your kids “remember the Skip Jack” ;o)