‘Float and Fly’ activity draws a crowd

Jul. 30, 2014 @ 11:46 AM

Building materials of all types covered the tables in the meeting room at the Caldwell County Public Library in Lenoir. Push pins, Styrofoam bowls, colored foam squares, deflated balloons and pipe cleaners were everywhere for kids to grab and turn into boats. Across the room, all sorts of paper and instruction books sat for kids to make paper airplanse.

Tuesday’s “Float and Fly” activity drew more than a dozen children. Children who decided to build a boat were left to their own devices and imagination with no instructions to guide them.

“I’m using my brain,” Kaydenc Turner, 11, said.

Quinten Matthews, 3, and his mom, Bridget Matthews, used a red plastic bowl as the bottom, then taped a green square of foam to the top.

Matthews blew up a green balloon and a yellow balloon, and Quinten stuck them to the foam with two clothespins. With their finished boat, they were ready to test it at the kiddie pool. When Quinten first put the boat in the shallow water, part of the boat grazed the bottom.

But on the second try, the boat floated perfectly.

Siblings Alexa Ortiz, 9, and Velkan Ortiz, 6, had very different ideas from each other. Alexa attached two bowls together, with the lips of the bowls touching each other. She secured them with pushpins and clothespins. Then, she stuck pipe cleaners of all different colors into the top “to make a rainbow” For the final touch, she placed a yellow feather in the middle of the pipe cleaners. Velkan used a piece of cardboard with a blue balloon on top that his mom inflated. For his signature mark, he bent a white pipe cleaner into a flag. Both siblings attached their boats to string so they could pull them around the pool.

“Look, Mommy! Do you see this?” Velkan said as his and Alexa’s boats floated.

For the children who made airplanes, Erica Lein, youth services specialists for the library, had set up a 30-foot tape measure on the floor, and when someone threw his or her airplane, she would mark on a whiteboard how far it flew.

Quinn Miller, 8, made a plane that flew all the way to the 30-foot mark.

“I love this plane!” Quinn cried after its record-breaking flight. He kissed the paper. “I love it!”