DIY Sail Boat for Imaginary Play

Amanda Kingloff shares how to make a sail boat out of a laundry basket to promote your child’s imaginary play.

After a fresh batch of laundry is fluffed and folded, take your basket to the high seas.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 40-inch stick or dowel
  • 1 18-inch stick or dowel 
  • Thin cotton rope
  • 1 24-by-18-inch piece of fabric or bed sheet
  • Scissors
  • Hot-glue gun (optional)
  • Fabric scraps
  • 1 laundry basket


  1. To make the mast and the boom, cross the short stick perpendicularly over the long stick approximately 24 inches down from one end and wrap the joint, making figure eights back and forth around the sticks, with approximately 2 feet of cotton rope.
  2. To make the sail, cut your piece of fabric in half diagonally. Place the right corner of the sail where the mast and the boom meet. For a quick assembly, have an adult hot-glue the fabric edges to the mast and the boom, or tie your sail on: Use your scissors to poke holes every 3 inches along the two perpendicular edges of the fabric, approximately 1 inch in from the edge. Cut 4-inch pieces of rope and thread them through the holes and around the sticks.
  3. Cut an 80-inch piece of rope and the tie strips of fabric scraps you might have every 3-5 inches along the rope. Tie the rope to the top of the mast, and let it hang down.
  4. Use rope to tie the mast to the side of the basket, securing it through the holes in at least two places.

laundry basket sail boat

project kid crafts that go

Excerpted from Project Kid: Crafts That Go! by Amanda Kingloff (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2016. Photographs by Alexandra Grablewski and Amanda Kingloff