Waterproof a pirate ship

This is a fun, super simple pirate themed waterproof experiment.

What you need:

  • Paper with a picture on it.
  • Materials such as kitchen roll, plastic, bubble wrap, greaseproof paper, tissue paper cut into squares.
  • Water
  • Glue
  • Squeezy water bottle.


Draw your pirate ship.

Feel the different types of material, which do you think will be the most waterproof and why?

  waterproog experiment

Place the squares of material over the picture using glue.

Spray water over the picture and observe any changes to the paper.

waterproof experiment

We noticed that the colour from the tissue paper bled into the white paper and the water droplets were not absorbed by the plastic, but stayed visible on the top.



The Science Bit

Waterproof objects cannot be penetrated by water.

Can you think of any natural waterproof materials?

Is your coat waterproof? What is it made of?


Extension ideas

Does it make a difference if you use more than one layer of the materials that were less good at repelling the water?

Can you cut some shapes out of the plastic and paint over the top to make a picture? Excuse my poor painting, I will update with a better one soon!

This video shows the activity in action.

 Suitable for Key Stage 1

Everyday Materials

Describe the simple physical properties of a variety of everyday materials

Working Scientifically

Observing closely, using simple equipment

Performing simple tests

Using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions

EYFS – Early Learning Goal

The child knows about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. 



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