Making toys and games from boat supplies
Making toys and games from boat supplies

Embarking on a sailing adventure with your family is an incredible experience, but keeping your children entertained can be a challenge. Discover how to create toys and games from boat supplies, ensuring that your kids have a variety of engaging activities to enjoy while on board.

Making Toys and Games from Boat Supplies

As a family embarking on a sailing adventure, one of the most important aspects of life on a boat is keeping the kids entertained. While the open sea and the beauty of nature can provide endless fascination, there will be times when your children need something more to keep them occupied. In this article, we will explore how to create toys and games from boat supplies, ensuring that your kids have a variety of engaging activities to enjoy while on board.

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Living on a boat with your family can be an incredible experience, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. One of these challenges is keeping your children entertained and engaged, especially during long stretches of sailing or when the weather is less than ideal. While you may have packed a selection of toys and games for your journey, there’s something special about creating your own entertainment using the supplies you have on board.

In this article, we will explore a variety of toys and games that can be made from boat supplies, providing your children with hours of fun and creativity. Not only will these activities help to pass the time, but they will also encourage your kids to think outside the box and develop new skills.

Safety First

Before we dive into the world of boat supply toys and games, it’s important to address the issue of safety. When creating any toys or games for your children, always ensure that the materials used are safe and age-appropriate. Avoid using any sharp objects or small parts that could pose a choking hazard, and always supervise your children during playtime.

Additionally, it’s essential to teach your children about the importance of safety on board. Make sure they understand the rules and guidelines for playing on the boat, and encourage them to always be aware of their surroundings.

Creative Play with Ropes and Knots

One of the most versatile and readily available supplies on a boat is rope. With a little imagination, ropes can be transformed into a variety of toys and games for your children to enjoy.

Knot Tying

Teaching your children how to tie different knots can be both educational and entertaining. Start with simple knots, such as the square knot or the bowline, and gradually introduce more complex knots as your children become more confident. Knot tying can be turned into a game by challenging your kids to see who can tie the fastest or most accurate knot.

Rope Obstacle Course

Create a fun and challenging obstacle course for your children using ropes and other boat supplies. Set up a series of rope-based challenges, such as climbing a rope ladder, swinging across a rope “monkey bridge,” or navigating a rope maze. This activity will not only keep your kids entertained but also help to develop their balance, coordination, and problem-solving skills.

Rope Crafts

Rope can also be used to create a variety of crafts and toys. For example, your children can braid or twist ropes together to make bracelets, necklaces, or keychains. Alternatively, they can use rope to create sculptures or other artistic creations, such as a rope octopus or a rope picture frame.

DIY Fishing Games

Fishing is a popular pastime for many sailors, and it can also be a fun and engaging activity for your children. With a few simple supplies, you can create your own DIY fishing games that will keep your kids entertained for hours.

Magnetic Fishing Game

To create a magnetic fishing game, you will need a small magnet, some string, a stick or dowel, and a selection of metal objects (such as washers, nuts, or bolts). Attach the magnet to the end of the string, and tie the other end of the string to the stick or dowel. Scatter the metal objects on the floor or in a shallow container, and challenge your children to “catch” as many objects as they can using the magnetic fishing rod.

Hook and Loop Fishing Game

Another variation of the fishing game involves using hook and loop fasteners (such as Velcro) to create a catch-and-release fishing experience. Cut out fish shapes from fabric or foam, and attach a small piece of hook fastener to each fish. Create a fishing rod by attaching a piece of loop fastener to the end of a string and tying the string to a stick or dowel. Your children can then use the fishing rod to catch and release the fish, practicing their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

Boat Supply Board Games

Many classic board games can be adapted to use boat supplies as game pieces. For example, you can create a simple checkers or chess set using different types of nuts and bolts as the game pieces. Alternatively, you can use small pieces of rope or other materials to create a tic-tac-toe board or a game of Connect Four.

To create a more unique and nautical-themed board game, consider designing your own game board and rules using boat supplies and sailing concepts. For example, you could create a game where players must navigate their game pieces through a series of obstacles (such as buoys, rocks, or other boats) to reach a destination.

Crafting with Sails and Canvas

If you have any old sails or canvas material on board, these can be repurposed into a variety of crafts and toys for your children. Some ideas include:

  • Creating a sailcloth kite that your children can fly on windy days
  • Sewing a simple sailcloth tote bag or backpack for your kids to carry their belongings
  • Cutting out shapes from the canvas material and using them to create a collage or mural
  • Using the canvas material to create a puppet theater or shadow box for your children to put on performances

Nature-Inspired Activities

While living on a boat, your children will have the unique opportunity to be surrounded by nature and wildlife. Encourage them to embrace this by incorporating natural elements into their playtime. Some ideas include:

  • Creating a nature scavenger hunt, where your children must find and collect various items from the surrounding environment (such as shells, rocks, or leaves)
  • Using found objects to create nature-inspired art or crafts, such as a driftwood sculpture or a seashell mosaic
  • Encouraging your children to observe and document the wildlife they encounter, either through drawing, writing, or photography


Keeping your children entertained and engaged while living on a boat can be a challenge, but with a little creativity and resourcefulness, you can create a variety of toys and games using the supplies you have on board. By incorporating ropes, sails, and other boat supplies into your children’s playtime, you can provide them with hours of fun and educational activities that will help them develop new skills and embrace the unique lifestyle of sailing with their family.