This Huckleberry Finn Party activity was inspired by an adorable board book. The raft page in this cute cute book was what I fell in love with when I saw it. I used this fun raft as inspiration for the party activity. Since we were celebrating a first birthday, a lot of adults (grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends) were invited.  I wanted an activity that was fun for adults and the few kids that would be there and I also wanted to incorporate a service project. I did some research and found that a local children’s hospital was in need of “craft kits” for the kids staying at the hospital to put together during their stay. I decided to have guests put together kits to make popsicle stick rafts just like the book!

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There are two parts to this craft, the “raft station how-to” and also the “raft building how-to” (in case you need a fun activity for a group of kids as well!). It would be simple to have kids do both at a party too – make a kit as a favor and one to donate.

Raft Station How To

You Will Need:
• Long table (to use for assembly)
• Kit-making instructions (see printable download)
• Raft-making instructions (see printable download)
• Raft Kit Labels (see printable download)
• Popsicle sticks
• Pre-cut strips of paper (5 ½ inches x 3 inches)
• Pre-cut paper flags (1 inch x 4 inches)
• Clay (like sculpey)
• Small dowels
• Containers for sticks, paper, dowels, and clay
• Scissors
• Twine
• Saran Wrap
• Paper bags

1. Set up all supplies: Set up all the supplies in a row so it follows the steps of the kit-making instructions.

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2. Hang Kit-making Instructions: Using a piece of twine and some clothespins, hang the kit-making instructions above the table with all the supplies so it is easy to see by party guests.

3. Helpful Hints: Optional: Include a finished raft kit so guests can see what it is supposed to look like at the end. You could also build one of the rafts (see “how to” below) so guests can see what the kids at the hospital will get to make too. This isn’t necessary, but may be helpful!

Raft Building How To

Now if you would like party guests to be able to make a raft, I’ve included instructions and pictures here too. The rafts really are so fun and simple because you only need a few supplies. You could have the kids build a raft and then have a race down a park stream too. Note, the rafts aren’t waterproof, but if you are careful, the paper dries up after or you can also spray with a waterproof lacquer if you are feeling ambitious. Either way, the rafts are guaranteed for at least one fun sail down a stream or in a sink.

You’ll need the same supplies as the list above plus some glue.

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1. Raft Base
• Glue 3 popsicle sticks on top of each other
• Repeat
• This creates two bases for your raft

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2. Raft Platform
• Align raft bases parallel to each other
• Glue 9 popsicle sticks perpendicular to the raft bases
• This will create your raft platform

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3. Tent
• Fold your long strip of paper in half (hamburger style–5 ½ inches x 3 inches)
• Make a fold on each end of your paper approximately ¼ inch (right sides together)
• Glue paper tent to the top of the platform (the folds you just made should align with the raft bases)

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4. Finishing Touches
• Glue a popsicle stick to the inside of the tent
• Glue two popsicle sticks on top of the paper tent folds (that align with the raft base)

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5. Flag

• Fold small paper (4 inches x 1 inch) in half
• Cut round half circle in the open end
• Curl flag in an “S” patter (to make it wave)
• Blue small tie ends to the small dowel
• Roll clay into ball with a flat bottom
• Insert dowel with flag into clay
• Glue clay (with the flag) onto the raft platform

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6. Float away!

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We hope you enjoyed this fun party! Remember to find the inspiration in new and different places and get those creative juices flowing.

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