Poolside: Cardboard Boat Race

This event has it all: a bit of arts and crafts, a bit of competition, in the sun... and a lot of fun!

The 'Make' and 'Race' can be done in one session, or split across across two activity slots - giving your guests the chance to super-charge their bobbing boating creations.

The Make

The simplest way to run this activity is to teach your guests how to make an origami boat - everyone learns together and then you can give a time limit for your guests to make their best origami boat, before lining them all up to race.

If you want to give guests more choice, then you could print out a few different step-by-step guides to making a few different types of origami boat... This brings in strategy and design choices into the competition.

If you have more time, and more scrap materials (such as cardboard), then your guests' boats can be even more creative and exciting.

See inspiration gallery below!

The Race

If your guests have made paper boats, then you could get them all to line up their boats (all in one go, or in heats if you have lots of contestants) and tell them that they have to get their boat across the pool/pond just by blowing them across... They can blow, or use paper to fan their boat across, but they can't touch their boat.

If you are running a cardboard boat race then things can get more intense by adding additional conditions... The boats are stronger, so how about adding the rule that every boat has to complete the race whilst carrying a can of beer (or even a six-pack!)...

If your guests are particularly wealthy/drunk/high/foolish you could always suggest using a mobile phone as precious cargo!

I always think these events are made most exciting and engaging if there is a host on the microphone commentating and getting everyone to cheer on the boat that they're supporting - this way you can turn the activity into a show for the other guests around the pool who haven't made their own boat, but will support their fellow guests.

Add a Picture Moment

People love taking pictures of memorable moments from their vacations... If you have time, you and the entertainment team could make a giant mega-creative cardboard boat and have it out poolside for guests to have their pictures in, whilst they're gearing up for the big race.

What You'll Need

  • Paper/Cardboard
  • Duct Tape
  • Prizes
  • Certificates
  • Templates for how to make origami boats
  • Start and finish line ribbons?

Some Useful Links



    The VE 🙂

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