2017-05-05 / Columnists

Tin Foil Sailing

By Paula DiGioia

My sister Maria and I were creative kids. We didn’t need toys to play with. When we did receive a new toy, it wouldn’t last a week. The doll’s hair would be chopped off or the board game pieces would be sacrificed for a secret time capsule burial ceremony in the backyard or the new 64 pack of crayons would be melted in the sun and used as tribal face paint.

Some of our inventive games were “tent world” – making a massive tent structure over the dining room table with blankets. Of course, this was about an hour before dinner. Speaking of dinner, we would take my mother’s good pots and cook mud soup in the backyard. When we got in trouble, we “ran away” from home and lived in my father’s tool shed, which got us in even more trouble.

One of our favorite rainy day games was “storm boats.” My sister and I would each make sail boats out of tin foil, working diligently at the kitchen table. When our boats were completed, we would go outside in the rain and let them sail away, down the stream of water that flowed alongside the curb. Our boats would crash and need repairs. Sometimes we would make little tin foil sailors to navigate the boats during the storm. If the tin foil people fell overboard, of course a rescue boat was needed before they drowned. The game would go on and on as long as the rain continued. Those were fun times I shared with my sister.

PAULA DIGIOIA PAULA DIGIOIA With all the rain the last few weeks, this memory came back to me and I thought, “What the hell, I’m going to make a tin foil boat and sail it!”

As adults, most of us try everything to avoid getting caught in the rain – boots, umbrellas, ponchos, even justifying a cab ride! Sitting in the rain, sailing my tin foil boat felt liberating. Like a kid without a care.

The process. The process. Try making your own next time it rains. It’s a fun craft for the kids and maybe more fun for us adults.

What you need:
Tin foil
Hot glue or scotch tape (depending
on the age of the kiddies)


Mold and fold the tin foil into a boat shape and sail. The key is trying to make your boat balanced/symmetrical. A smaller sail works best. You can make a tin foil sailor as well and use him/her to adjust and offset the weight for balance, if needed. Most important, get creative and have fun.

Paula DiGioia is a Rockaway Beach resident, a lover of cats, a passionate cook and an enormous Fran Drescher fan. DiGioia enjoys writing about food, family, community, gardening and everything in between. Find more narratives like this on her blog theglorifiedtomato.com.

The finished tin foil boat. The finished tin foil boat.

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