Kids Get Crafty – Walnut Boats


Traditional Walnut Boat Craft – We do love to craft with walnuts. There is something autumnal about them and I love how tactilce they are. Walnuts crafts are also usually very “cute”, because they are small(er)! Our walnuts are back! I did say I had a few walnut crafts up my sleeves… if you liked our little racing walnut mice, you may like our walnut boats too! It is another one of those “super quick” crafts. It is also a VERY exciting craft for a young child, as you get to craft with a candle (you can make these using playdough too, if you prefer not to use a candle).

Whilst I have your attention though, I think you will ADORE this little ship DIY (they float BRILLIANTLY and look great as Pirate ships) AND I wanted to share our FAVOURITE Walnut Craft ever with you too!!

walnut boats (1)

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The Book

Bodo Bär auf dem Piratenschiff

Bodo Bär auf dem Piratenschiff By Hartmut Bieber

The book to inspire our boat making is a pirate book! What pirate is a pirate without a boat?! Today, we are looking at a German book again (sorry). But it is such a sweet book and probably the “gentlest” to date introducing the whole idea of pirates – remember – it is a rather alien concept to a 3yrs old to suddenly be told about haarr-haarr-ing pirates! Are they fun? Are they scary? Are the nice? What are they…

Bodo Bär is a modern classic series of children’s books in Germany. Red Ted was given Bodo Bär on the pirate’s boat” for his birthday and loves it. It is current book of choice when, ahem, on the loo…… (well you need a good read).

BodoBär and is uncle go on a visit to the the pirate ship – there they get to explore the whole ship – from the hold to the kitchens to the captains room. You get lift flaps and learn lots of very pirate relevant word (e.g. Muskets, Cannons and Hammocks). They even go to a trip to a treasure island, celebrate with a fish cake and Bodo get’s a go on the bridge. Fabulous.

What we both like about it:  There are lot of little things to discover (like the mice playing cards, the cat hiding in the bed.. there is lots of vocabulary to learn (which is great from our bilingual family point of view) and the book is drawn in a fun, friendly way. In fact – the whole book is boat shaped!

The Craft

As mentioned, this is a very quick and easy craft you really don’t need very much – and you can vary your approach to “making the sail” as suits you! In hindsight, I think it is a shame we didn’t do a paper sail – as Red Ted would have “something” to really contribute. Never the less, he enjoyed the process and the final result!

Materials: One walnut half per boat, a candle & match,toothpick or similar, large tape for the sail or piece of paper/ coloured paper/ painted on paper/ paper with a skull & cross bone!

1. The best way to split your walnut, is with a knife on a chopping board. Ease your knife into a weak spot (at the more round “bottom” part of the walnut and gently prize it open. Sometimes tapping it helps a little. Needless to say, do take care and ensure that small hands are not getting over excited and in the way. I find the older the nut the easier it will crack open!

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2. Fill the walnut with wax. This is a great craft for letting your children try something where they have to take care – of course, you must supervise at all time and make sure they don’t burn themselves, but they will be thrilled to have had a go. Red Ted, being only just 3yrs, was allowed to briefly (!) hold the candle.

walnut crafts

3. We then stuck in a our toothpick and let the wax cool a little.

UPDATE: It is actually easier to make your flags FIRST and then stick them in the wax.. Not sure why I did this way round!

4. Then add the flag – as we used tape this was just a quick stick on job. I have to say, it would have been easier to stick on the flag FIRST. Give the flag a little trim for decor. A lovely alternative would be to colour in a square piece of a paper and secure it by piercing it on to the toothpick

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5. PLAY!

walnuss boot

Hope you enjoyed this little walnut craft! We have some more traditional walnut crafts for you to check out!