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Supported by Royal Navy

Make a paddlecraft

Prepare for a taster session of paddling by making a model paddlecraft.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Scissors
  • Sticky tape
  • Glue sticks
  • Big pieces of card
  • Pens or pencils
  • Rulers
  • Knives
Paper paddlecrafts: instructions and templates
PDF – 326.9KB
Surrounding a template of a paddlecraft are pens, scissors, erasers and pencil sharpeners.

As well as sponsoring our Time on the Water Staged Activity Badge, the Royal Navy also offer free powerboat instructor and paddlesport instructor courses for adult volunteers. Click the link below to head over to their supporter page and find out more.

Royal Navy
  1. Split the group into pairs or small teams.
  1. Each group should use the templates to draw the shapes they need onto cardboard. They should draw the dotted lines too.
  2. Everyone should bend the cardboard carefully along any dotted lines.
  3. Everyone should glue the parts of their craft together, following any instructions that go with their template. They may also need to make paddles or add string.
  4. Everyone should use sticky tape to make the outside of their paddlecraft waterproof.
  5. Once their models are finished, each group should talk about (or label) the different parts of their craft.
  6. Everyone should test their crafts on water to see how well made they are.


This activity helped everyone to try something new, and get ready for a practical paddling session. How are you feeling about a taster session in a real kayak or canoe? Do you feel more prepared because you know more about the parts of the paddlecraft and their similarities and differences? What do you think the taster session will be like? How will it be different to the preparation you’ve done in your meeting place.

This activity was also about valuing the outdoors by getting out and doing adventurous activities. After the paddling taster session, what other activities would you like to try out? How do adventurous activities make you feel?


All activities must be safely managed. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.


Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.

Sharp objects

Teach young people how to use sharp objects safely. Supervise them appropriately throughout. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.

Water games and activities

Be careful when doing activities with, in, or near water. Check surfaces and reduce the risk of slipping where possible. Make sure you have appropriate supervision for this activity.