Water For Life: Water for Recreation

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Water For Life badge activity: Water for Recreation
There are lakes, rivers, or oceans close to most New Zealand locations. What water recreation activities are popular in New Zealand? What water recreation activities are available in your local area?
Activity - make a jet boat
Many water activities revolve around boating. Jet boat engines can be quite noisy but this one is silent. As a group make a jet boat and try it out.


• Oblong margarine or butter container
• Firm plastic milkshake straw or plastic tube
• Plasticine
• Balloon
• Rubber-band


On one of the smaller sides of an oblong margarine or butter container, cut a small hole in the centre near the bottom. The hole should be about the diameter of a sturdy plastic straw.
Push the straw through the hole. Make sure the straw is angled down (ie, higher in the inside of the container).
To keep the straw in place and to make your hole air tight, place a small piece of plasticine around the straw. Also, place a small piece of plasticine over the outside end of the straw (this will be removed when you are ready to launch the boat).
Fill your balloon with water - stretch the neck of the balloon over a tap and then turn the water on - slowly!When the balloon is a little smaller than a tennis ball, pinch the neck of the balloon and remove it from the tap.
Place the “jet boat” in a bath of water, a swimming pool, or a gentle river. Stretch the neck of the filled water balloon over the straw - the end that is in the container. Fix the balloon securely with a rubberband.
Now, remove the plasticine from the end of the straw. The balloon contracts and pushes the water down the straw and into the water at the back of the jet boat. This in turn pushes the boat forward and it moves along in the water until the balloon is empty.
See what happens, if instead of removing the plasticine from the end of the straw, you make a small hole through the plasticine with a pin and let the air escape more slowly.


  • Water
  • water activity

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