Kindergarten Transportation Unit: Boats

By Willa

This lesson is part of a series in transportation that will focus on boats. The children will learn about various types of boats, while age appropriate activities help build skills in all areas.

Circle Time: The Boy in the Boat , author unknown

This story time is quite different than reading from a book. The children will be mesmerized by the activity as well as the story. (You will need a sheet of plain white paper and scissors). Begin to tell the story. "There was a boy who wanted to be a sailor. He had a hat." ( Fold the paper in half with edges facing down, fold the top corners down toward the middle, fold a single edge up, then turn over and fold the other edge up. Now show the hat). "He also had a boat." (Turn the hat upside down). "One day, he got into the boat and floated in the middle of the lake. It was so hot and the sun was so bright, so he removed his shirt and pants and threw them in the water. He felt so much cooler with his swimming trunks on. His boat hit a rock and the front of the boat broke off." (Cut off the front of the boat). "Then a giant fish took a bite of the bottom of the boat." (Cut off the bottom). "The boy just had a little boat left, then a big bird flew down and sat on it." (Cut off the back of the boat). "Now, there was just a tiny little boat left and the water was coming inside, so he jumped overboard and swam to the shore. As the boat sank, he saw something white floating in the water. What do you think it could be?" (It was his shirt).

Be prepared with pictures and encourage an open discussion on different types of boats used for transportation, work or pleasure, such as ocean liners, ferry boats, barges, canoes, motor boats, sailboats, row boats and submarines.


The children will build their own boats, then share the water table to see if it floats. These are the items you will need:

Small milk cartons with tops removed

Small craft sticks

Construction paper sails, various colors



Cut 10 boats and sails from construction paper and laminate. Mark a number on each boat. Place coordinating dots on each sail. In mixed order within reach of the children, attach the boats on one side of the chalkboard and the sails on the other side. Use number word flashcards for a child to answer. If the correct number word is answered, the child matches the sail to the boat.

Suggested reading:

Harbor by Donald Crews

The Great Boat Race by Kitty Richards

Sail Away, Little Boat by Janet Buell

The Little Boat by Kathy Henderson

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