Mayflower Nut – a tutorial

Fabulous tutorial on how to make a Mayflower boat out of a walnut shell.

I’ll be the first to admit that we are a little nutty over here!  But that’s just how we roll…

In preparation and anticipation of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I always love to review a little history.  We’ve pulled a few of our favorite Thanksgiving books together and I couldn’t help squeezing in a few fun projects before we leave to visit family.

So here’s our homemade miniature Mayflower ships and a quick tutorial so you all can make this super easy craft too!

Here’s a quick inventory of what you will need for this project:

  • playdough (we used our favorite recipe and I added cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to capture that scrumptious ‘fall’ smell.)  Clay would probably work better, but I don’t keep any of that around.
  • walnuts (I bought three in case I ruined any of them.  I knew I needed at least three ‘good’ boats.)
  • toothpicks
  • paper
  • pencil and scissors not pictured, but needed to draw and cut out sails

FIRST: Using a butter knife, carefully separate the walnut into two halves.  In hindsight, I wish I had bought a couple of extra walnuts.  I think the boys would have enjoyed trying to do this.  Since I was afraid of ruining all of them, I did this step.  Gut the walnut shell halves and have a snack!

SECOND: Trace three rectancles (with sides angled inward) in graduated sizes.  Cut them out.  Depending on the age of the child this can be a you job, a them job or both (and then let them pick what set of sails they want to use.

THIRD: Let them place a line of glue down the center of each sail and place toothpick with at least two centimeters of space at the bottom of the toothpick blank.

FOURTH: Allow to dry.  Go play with the playdough! Pinch off small bits of playdough to stick inside the walnut shells.

FIFTH: Place your sails and embark!

Up Next: Playful learning with our new Mayflower ships!

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  1. This is an awesome craft! I will have to let my kids make one. Thanks for sharing the idea! Stopping by from the Hip Homeschool Hop!

  2. Such a cute idea!

  3. Rebecca (me!) says:

    Stopping by from the Hip Homeschool Hop. I absolutely LOVE this craft and will def have to make it! Thanks so much and am so glad I found your blog…such great ideas! Blessings!

  4. sarah in the woods says:

    This is really cute!

  5. What a great, easy idea. And the boys even got a healthy snack out of it!

  6. Can’t wait to do this. I needed some easy Thanksgiving inspiration for me and my 3 year-old! Love the idea of adding the fall spices to the dough! Brilliant!!!

  7. Olives and Pickles says:

    This proyect look like fun..I need to write it down on mi list!Thanks a lot


  1. […] been a couple of years since we’ve made our Mayflower Walnut boats.  With Greta being 3 now, I think it is definitely time to pull these out […]

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