Bring some string to help make these tiny rafts

(Tiny) Raft Making

Posted by Shell Grayston.
First Published Nov 2014; updated May 2023.

Sometimes the smallest of things can keep the kids busy. Here we make a tiny raft out of twigs - raft-making on a tiny scale. Make a few and race.

This is a great little activity to do. All you need are some twigs, string, and water...

Tiny raft-making is a really simple activity you can do any time of year and doesn't require a lot of preparation and large groups of people. You can easily incorporate it into a walk or visit a local stream. It could also be a good activity to entertain your kids if you are camping near a stream.

All you need is some sticks and string for a basic raft.

You can add accessories like a leaf for the sail and put natural materials like acorn shells or walnut on your raft for a ride.

If you find some clay, you could create little people or animals to board your raft.

Building your tiny raft

You will need the following:

  • 4 to 8 fairly straight sticks.
  • Tie a piece of string around each end of the sticks. Leave two long ends.
  • Add one stick at a time. Tie the sticks as closely as possible.
  • Double knots are required to finish the final stick.
  • Then test it on the water.

The Results

We had a lot of fun making the raft. It inspired my youngest's creativity and imagination.

He made a little anchor from a twig, tied it on, and was so pleased with his creation that we had to carry it carefully home to show Dad!

Tiny Raft with Anchor

Tiny Raft with Anchor

This activity opens up a range of play, creating the rafts and having races to see whose can travel downstream quickly. Get them to see what materials float best.

We thought they would look lovely in the dark with a tea light. That's something we've not tried yet, but going to give it a go.

This idea can be adapted in so many ways. How do you like to make rafts? We would love to hear your ideas.

More Ideas

This activity was inspired by the Learning With Nature book.