Who Sank the Boat?

Our most recent Create & Play workshops have been based around one of our favourite children’s authors, Pamela Allen.


For anyone wishing to undertake an author study with their class or provide playful learning opportunities with great links to literacy and numeracy, then check out the activity ideas below!


Our Top Activities Based on ‘Who Sank the Boat?’ By Pamela Allen


Boat Building


This boat building tinker table was a hit with our 3-5 year olds. We provided mini hammers, nails, rubber bands, material scraps and balsa wood in a range of shapes and sizes. Measuring tapes and rulers were also available to add to the learning experience. Once built, their little vessels were then painted (we used dye washes for a faster drying time) and some even got tested in the pond!


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Who Really Sank the Boat? Weighing Station


The ideal numeracy link with this classic book is, of course, a weighing station. We asked students ‘Who really sank the boat?’ and allowed them to explore this question using a variety of measuring scales and toy farm animals. Baskets of stones and shells were on hand for extra comparisons and exploration.


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Donkey Horse Play


We know, we know! In the story it mentions a donkey but we challenge you to find donkeys amongst a set of farm animals, or anywhere in fact! We had an abundance of horses instead, so we went with those to set up a horsey small world play and a pony washing station. Both wonderful activities for imaginative play.


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Sinking Boats Water Play


A lovely, simple accompaniment to the story is a sensory bin filled with water, boats and farm animals. We used some plastic containers as boats and added a few handfuls of shiny pebbles. This straightforward activity had the littles ones entertained for hours and was a great opportunity for them to retell the events of the story through play.


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Tadpole Study


What happened once the animals fell into the pond? The story finishes before we can find out, however we’re guessing there were some tadpoles in the murky depths below! Our workshop was well timed for tadpole season so we scooped some gently into a vase and allowed the children to have a close up look. Little blank booklets were available for children to record their findings, or document the tadpole lifecycle. This could be just the start of a pond life science investigation in your classroom!


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Cows and Pigs Sensory Play


For some squishy, hands-on play we made a delicious batch of cocoa play dough for those mud-loving pigs and cooked up some spaghetti in green dye for the cows to frolic in.


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Tractor Tracks


This is messy but fun, and can result in some gorgeous patterns and colour mixing artworks. We dolloped two paint colours along the paper surface and encouraged the children to zoom the tractors through the paint to create tracks.


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All Aboard the Baby Boat


The little babies enjoyed some boat inspired play too. In a large cardboard box boat we placed various blue, baby-safe items; some soft scrubbers suitable for scrubbing the decks; and a mirror so they could see their reflections in the ‘water’ below.


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