Looking for family-friendly maritime themed activities to do at home? Check out these resources below!
Whale Poop! Written and illustrated by Amy Estes
Come and join in on the amazing adventure, Whale Poop!, and learn about Salt, a female North Atlantic Humpback whale is has graced the water off the coast of Cape Cod every year since the 1970's. Download this free digital and e-book and learn how Salt and her fellow whales keep our oceans healthy. If you are ever fortunate enough to visit Cape Cod, jump on a whale watch and maybe you will catch up with Salt or one of her calves in person!
If you have any extra seashells lying around, follow this tutorial to create a Sailor's Valentine at home! In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, seashells like these were intricately arranged into geometric mosaics known as “sailors’ valentines.” They were—and still are—made by gluing hundreds of shells onto cotton batting, and framing the work with octagonal cases of wood and glass. They were given by whalers and merchant seamen to loved ones when the men safely returned home from what could have been months or even years at sea.
25 Ways to Build a Boat
Can you build a boat from materials found at home and make it float? Follow through to the link to see a list of materials and designs. Challenge your friends, family, or classmates to a race with your boats in a bathtub or other small body of water - which boats go the fastest? Send pictures to
For centuries, mariners used the stars and the planets to guide them on their seafaring journeys. Celestial navigation is the practice of using angular measurements between celestial bodies such as the sun, moon, planets or stars, and the visible horizon. These "sights" allow a navigator to accurately know where they are in the world, and to make calculations for a journey. While very few of us might today pick up an instrument such as a sextant or astrolabe to find our position on the ocean, it is still thrilling to gaze into the night sky and observe the constellations and astronomical phenomena above us.
How to draw a sailboat
The Fine Arts Gallery at the Cape Cod Maritime Museum regularly presents exhibitions showcasing the work of talented local and regional artists who specialize in maritime themes. Our most recent show is a photography exhibit called Cape Scenes: Three Perspectives. If you are at home, why not indulge your own creative side? Try your hand at sketching a simple sailboat using this fun and easy tutorial.And if you like what you draw, please take a photo and send it to us! We will happily share your sketches on future social media posts and our website. Send pictures to
Toilet Paper Roll Fish
Use toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls to create your own fish - use glitter, glue, googly eyes, and any other items at home to make these fish as fun and bright as you like!
Boating Scavenger Hunt
Bringing the whole family on board for a day on the water can be loads of fun, but sometimes kids can get a little antsy. Why not offer an entertaining “Boating Scavenger Hunt” to help keep your young mariners occupied and learning about different kinds of vessels, nautical equipment and ocean life.
Watch this fascinating video of solo sailor Igor Stropnik adventuring in the Arctic circle region of Norway.
Looking for something fun and practical to do while you are staying at home? How about tying a knot or two? Not only do we have displays of standard sailing knots at the Cape Cod Maritime Museum, but we also regularly offer knot tying and rope skills workshops as part of our educational community programming. So grab some rope or string and try out some of these traditional, and useful, nautical knots!
Blue Water Diving Observations
Watch and learn how blue and black water diving is conducted in the open ocean and what these divers see during the day and during the twilight zone migration at night. Check out the rest of the YouTube channel, hosted by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for more fun underwater exploration videos.