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Kids Crafts -
Soap Powered Boat


  • Cardboard
  • Piece of soap or liquid soap
  • Bathtub, sink, or large bowl

    How To Make It

    1. Cut a small boat out of cardboard as shown.
    2. Fill the bathtub, sink, or bowl with water.
    3. Put a small piece of soap or liquid soap in the notch cut at the back of your boat.
    4. Place your boat on the surface of the water and watch it go!


    The attraction of water molecules to each other can be weakened by adding soap. Filling a glass as full as you can, then add a drop of liquid dish washing detergent. This breaks the surface tension and the water spills. You can use this effect to make a boat powered by surface tension. The soap reduces the surface tension of the water around it. Since the surface tension is greater at the front of the boat than at the rear, it pulls the boat forward.

    Back to Kids Craft Corner

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