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Supported by Trinity House

Press play and go: build a bottle boat

Follow the video to learn some basic sailing terminology in this bottle-based, boat building bonanza.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Scrap paper
  • Pens or pencils
  • Clean items of recycling
  • Craft materials (for example, tissue paper, pipe cleaners, stickers)
  • Scissors
  • Sticky tape
  • Clean, empty plastic bottles
  • Marker pens
Script for leaders (Build a bottle boat)
PDF – 78.0KB

Start the meeting

You’ve probably developed your own routines to start online Scout meetings, but here are some ideas:

  • It’s a good idea to start with something familiar to help everyone get into the Scouts mindset and to reassure them that it’s still Scouts – it just looks a little different right now. This may mean an innovative flag break or a virtual Grand Howl.
  • Why not give everyone the chance to chat to their friends? Online meetings don’t always give people to chance to reconnect; giving everyone the chance to catch up at the start helps everyone get engaged and makes it more likely that they’ll feel comfortable speaking up throughout the session. Ask everyone to tell you something good about their week or answer a question like ‘do you have a favourite memory of spending time on the water?’. Don’t forget to use the mute button so everyone can hear the person speaking.
  • You could get stuck into a quiz or focusing game to capture everyone’s attention and help them focus on the activity. You could try Quick change.

Do the activity

It’s up to you whether you play the video where Maya talks everyone through each step or whether you play the video without a presenter. We’ve included some ideas for what you could say if you decide to present it yourself.

Whichever video you choose, feel free to pause the video as often as you need to let everyone catch up, share their creations, or help each other problem solve. You could also point out people’s great ideas to inspire others. 

Remember: be really careful if you're using any electrical appliances near water.

If you'd like to make this video full screen on a desktop, double click on the video once you have pressed play.

If you would like to download this video, or play it full screen on mobile, you can watch the video directly on Vimeo.

If you would like to see the video without the presenter, this is also available on our Vimeo.

Reflection

You probably have your own ways of reflecting and ending meetings and you can borrow questions and ideas from the original activity too.

In this activity, people had the chance to learn some sailing words and phrases so they’re ready to get out on the water when it’s safe again. Think about whether your reflections help young people understand what they’ve learned during the activity. The whole point of reflecting is that it helps everyone think about what they’ve learned and how they could apply it to other situations in future.

Are people comfortable sharing their ideas? No one should feel put on the spot or forced to talk, but it’s good to give everyone a chance to have their say. You may want to revisit how you start your meetings to get everyone used to speaking up.

It’s worth giving people the chance to share what they’ve made during the reflection. It’s always nice to see what everyone’s created, but sharing their work will also help them describe the activity in their own way and make it more memorable.  

It’s also useful to chat about how people could take it further. You could think about how people could build on what they’ve learned or set them a simple, creative challenge before your next session. For this activity, you could think about whether building a model helped people to learn, or if they’d like to try another way of learning instead. Perhaps some people would rather make posters or write songs, for example. They could think about how this applies to other situations when they need to learn something new. If you set a challenge, don’t forget to check in when you next meet.

Safety

Online safety

Supervise young people when they’re online and give them advice about staying safe.

For more support around online safety or bullying, check out the NSPCC website. If you want to know more about specific social networks and games, Childnet has information and safety tips for apps. You can also report anything that’s worried you online to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection command.

As always, if you’ve got concerns about a young person’s welfare (including their online experiences), follow the Yellow Card reporting processes.

Scissors

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

Glue and solvents

Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using glue and solvent products. Make sure there’s plenty of ventilation. Be aware of any medical conditions which could be affected by glue or solvent use and make adjustments as needed.

Rubbish and recycling

All items should be clean and suitable for this activity.

All activities must be safely managed. 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.

Make it accessible

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.