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This thread is for sharing ideas for Building an Ark in your classroom.

Below, we've collected various ideas that have been posted here in the Exchange over the years. Add yours!

Photos welcome.





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  • noahsark-big
Last edited by Luanne Payne
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Oriental Trading Company Kit


Oriental Trading Company has a wooden and foam combination kit right now.

Volunteer moderator notes this item no longer available, but they do have a cardboard ark to build - link below:

If you go to, also put "ark" in the search box, there are a few other crafts as well for Noah.

Last edited by Luanne Payne
Thanks for suggesting Oriental Trading. They do have some great projects.

I am wondering, though, if anyone has ever made an ark (or other boat) out of wood. I have seen simple projects for making wooden birdhouses, and I am looking for a boat pattern/project.

Also, has anyone ever made an ark out of big cardboard boxes? Any ideas on this? I am thinking of getting some large boxes and letting the kids make a big ark for our drama workshop. We might use puppets as the characters (for the older kids) and just have the younger ones play the characters themselves. Any suggestions that anyone can add?

Using Craft Sticks and Masking Tape:


At another church that I was at, we created an ark using craft sticks and masking tape, using the width of one craft stick to equal one cubit, this gave them the concept of quantity and size. The project was a group creation and we did end up creating a large ark for display. I wish I could find more in my files for you but it was a number of years ago. I love the idea of using cardboard and you could get sheets of cardboard from a lumber company or carton company. To make it perhaps the kids could actually be painters instead of woodworkers it would take a lot of effort to paint a large cardboard ark. We did this unit this year and had the kids create origami boats but we gave instructions to only one child and one shepherd and let the others fumble at it and also had one child acting as though it was impossible. After they struggled for awhile we gave the group directions and then had a discussion about how they all felt in their different roles. For a concept of size we had them go in the parking lot and measure as a group. I am pretty sure we used some stuff from this site, just foggy at this point what was from where!

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

More ark building ideas...

Posted by kidsmin

Building Noah's Ark
I am trying to construct an ark using cardboard, wood or other materials for our Noah's Ark Rotation. This is not something kids would go in - just a large prop. Cardboard seems flimsy for this large of a prop.
Any ideas on how to build it?

Posted by Lisa M.

If the kids aren't going to get into it, consider a painting instead of something 3D. Get a roll of white butcher paper (a staple for us) and tape several sheets together, or if you want something more permanent, paint a canvas dropcloth. Then hang the picture up.

If you really want the 3D aspect, contact Sears or another company that sells a lot of appliances about getting a collection of refrigerator, dishwasher, etc. boxes. These can be stacked to make the "house" portion. Open one or two out flat and cut a boat shape to tape at the bottom of the "house" part. Make a triangular section for the roof.

You can get the kids to help you make the ark, too! It might not look as professional, but they'll remember working to build it.

Posted by JCarey

Cardboard comes in different weights, so if you have a container company in your town call one and ask what the heaviest weight is or you could glue two sheets together. Another product that may work for you is insulation foam that you can carve and it can be painted to look like wood easily. If you want to see what foam looks like when it is painted like wood using a wood grainer go to the photo section and click on the second set of photos from Christ Community church - Palos Heights, Il. Anything that looks like wood (beams and siding) are really foam painted. Cheap and easy and carvable.

Posted by rhondab

I've done a "large" Noah's Ark on the side of an opened refrigerator box. Because of the creases, it stood nicely, even around lots of children. It was easily stored flat in our prop space. Your project does sound more ambitious though. Hope you take a photo to share with us.

Posted by Luanne

I posted over in Noah's Drama/Puppet forum a one-sided boat I made from cardboard for a puppet skit. It can be found here at

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Scale Replica:


We are about to do a rotation for Noah's ark. I have asked one of the men at our church who is into wood working to rip me 450 1 inch cubes out of leftover 2x4 or 2x6 scraps. I plan to have the children stack these 5 wide 30 long and 3 high which should yield a scale replica of the ark. As we are building it I will tell the story and try to help them imagine how big it really was.

Afterwards I plan to do a scavenger hunt outside . They will have to find 4 flags I have positioned. These flags will represent the actual dimensions of the ark. The 4 different groups should end up a 4 different flags.

I am trying to determine the height of the tallest tree on our grounds to see if it is roughly 45 feet tall - so they can visualize that being the top.

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Great idea to go along with actual building an ark!

Posted NancyFidler
'WoRM Honor Guard'

The most successful part of the rotation that I did with the group was found on rotation website. The story I used was Noah's Ark and I used the lesson regarding the size of the Ark. It was great to see a group of elderly, middle age and teenager take a 450 ft string and weave it from the basement of the church, out the front door and down the block! What was even funnier was their responses on the walkie talkies. It was hilarious!

Model Ark:


Just taught this rotation yesterday - reporting while it is still fresh on my mind :-)

I had a guy at church who is handy with woodworking cut me out 450 1 inch cubes from scrap lumber. I actually ended up with over 600 cubes which will be used somehow some day...

We used these cubes to build a model ark. We stacked them 5 wide, 30 long, and 3 stories high. Each cube represents a room that is 15 feet wide x 15 feet long x 15 feet tall.

You end up with a long rectangle box. The word ark means box and that is the more likely shape than the 'cute' boat we usually see.

I started out with a table for the kids to stand around. They each had a small square of sanding paper and one block. The other blocks were stored in a box out of sight. I told them the story of Noah and talked about the size of the ark and how long they worked on it.

Then I told them for 81 seconds they would need to work really hard on their block. They need to sand the rough edges down and make it nice and smooth. I set it up to be like a contest but open-ended - we didn't declare a winner.

I timed them and then told them to stop after 81 seconds. Ask them in the middle if anyone is getting tired. Those who are really getting after it will get tired 1 minute in.

Next I told them that each block represented a room 15x15x15 feet. I asked them how long they thought it might have taken Noah's family to build that room. I hinted that the number 81 was involved. The answer is 81 days.

Next I said it's time to build the ark. Do you think we have enough blocks. All said no. Then I got out the big box of blocks and told them to start sanding. The looks on their faces is priceless.

Then I explain that we are not going to sand them anymore. I directed them to start stacking the blocks up 5 wide, 30 long, and 3 high. Do the bottom layer first. At first dump a pile of blocks on the table for them to use. Help them get the layout down and then move the box of blocks away form the table. The kids will get in each others way after a while. When they run out of blocks on the table - have them take a trip back and forth to the box to retrieve blocks and take turns placing them.

Next I had each child take a block and try to guess how tall Noah would have stood next to the block. Have them draw a stick figure on the block. Most kids will make the man too tall. Look at each and tell them 'Your Noah is 12 feet tall' ...

Show them a block with a 6' Noah. The top of his head should come just short of half-way up the block. Half-way would be a 7'6" Noah.

I used my block to replace the cornerstone block on one of the corners of the model. This gives you a good idea of the scale.

The kids enjoyed this exercise and the adults that saw the model later were even surprised how different it looks - and how large the ark was. One lady remarked - I think all the animals could have fit on that ark!

As part of the same center I also had a life-sized demonstration ready. This one didn't go as well for me - but I think under the right conditions and with the right materials - it could be really neat.

We have a large field in front of our church and you would have to really have a large area to do this: Measure first - I almost ran out of room.

I bought 14 helium ballons and mearsured out 14 45 foot long string (The height of the ark). I tied each ballon to a can of pop. I used 14 because This would put each one 75' apart and we usually have just under 14 kids - so afterward I could give them each a can of pop and a balloon.

I measured a string to be 75' long and had my kids help me the night before. We set the first two cans down 75 feet apart. This would be the front of the ark.

Then we measured 75 down from each can to place our next two cans. It's easy to get off - so we measured between these two cans and adjusted their placements. Perfection is not the goal - just a nice good rough idea.

When we were done we had a life sized 3-D layout of the ark. But there were PROBLEMS!

1. I used yard to tie my balloons to the cans. Aparently the yarn is too heavy. The balloons sagged at about 10 feet above the ground. I think fishing line or the ribbon string that usually comes on the helium ballons might work better. Find something lighter than yarn!

2. I used Mylar ballons - I dont know if this is better or not from regular ballons. Just thought you should know.

3. I had my ballons filled on Sat. afternoon. This may have given them too much time to wear out. It would probably be good to have a helium tank available and make them fresh.

4. It was windy - just a little - but this may have kept the balloons down. I know it blew them off course :-)

5. I abandoned the 14 separate ballons and tied 3 or 4 together at the courners. This was better but still the yarn was too heavy. Experiment and see if you can find a good way to do it.

CAUTION: Be aware of powerlines. 45' may be long enough to reach a power line. Keep clear of them. Also - if you send the ballons home with the kids - shorten the string. They may have powerlines at home they could get in trouble with.

If anyone is able to get this to work out better - please post your findings here. I would really like to see this work.

IDEA: One idea would be to add support strings between the ballons at the top. This should at least keep a square shape at the top when you release them.

Reply to above post moved here for easy reference by volunteer moderator
Loved this idea! We used it as a kick off to our 2008-2009 Sunday school year. We used water bottles to tie down white helium filled balloons to the 45' strings. Weather was beautiful, light wind. We used 9" ballons...but these were too small as they were not strong enough to float the balloon the 45' distance up. They floated horizontally rather than vertically, probably due to the weight of the long string. Our plan is to try again. However, we will adjust the height of the perimeter balloons, so the kids can see the length and width of the ark and then place a group of balloons(4-5) tied together in the center "of the ark" so the kids can see the height of the ark.

Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd 9-7-08

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

1/75th Scale Ark:

We are building an 1/75th scale ark for our next rotation out of scrap thin plywood. Site where directions came from removed as no longer available.

Looking for a Noah’s Ark scale model kit with animals?
"Great for Home Schools, Christian Schools, Sunday Schools, etc. The Noah's Ark kit is built of cardboard and held together by Velcro. Scale model is 1/75 scale. Actual size of Noah’s Ark was; 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. Our model is; 6 feet long, 1 foot wide and 7.5 inches high. Kit comes with 14 pairs of animals and 7 pairs of dinosaurs all at 1/75 scale. Assembly will take several hours the first because you have to attach the Velcro. Later assemblies take an hour or less."

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Ark using Helium Balloons:


We built an ark using the helium balloons. Using a pop can you tie fishing line to the pop can and then measure 45 feet. Then tie the other end to the balloon. Let it float into the air and the kids got a great visual of how big the ark was. Then we measured off the 75 feet for the width and then 450 feet for the length. It was really cool because we have a huge field at our church that was just perfect.

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Ark Using Chalk:

Posted by cjhale1221

Last week with the older elementary kids we converted cubits to feet and then went outside on the church property and measured the dimensions of the Ark making notations on the pavement with chalk. The kids were amazed at how big it really was. Telling them to imagine how big it was by comparing other things to it wasn't working but it was really brought home for them when they did the math and measurements themselves. This wouldn't work too well with the young kids but the older ones really enjoyed it.

How do you make the conversion from cubits to feet? i think our class would like this ok - what they really want to do is flood something, so if you have any ideas about this, it would be gratefully accepted!

Cubit Conversions:


A cubit is the distance from elbow to fingertip, so they can make their own measure, or you can cut a piece of string.

How about a buoyancy lesson for science? Everyone builds a boat, then put in a pool, rain on the boats with a watering can and see which boats float best. Use a search engine or check out any kids' science site you already know about.


Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

An Ark Bulletin Board Building Idea 
Foster Memorial, Springfield
Judy Welborne

Our Church, Foster Memorial Church in Springfield, Mass, is in our second year of using the rotation workshop method of teaching. Although we are in our "infancy", we have a very active Board of Christian Education with a very versatile and open director.

We started our rotation with "Noah's Ark". My workshop was a bulletin board craft. I had a rather abstract dream of the "ark". It was implemented this way:

Items needed:

  • Jute (approximately 10-15 rolls depending on the size of the ark)
  • craft "shingles" in different sizes and shapes
  • craft sticks (popsicle sticks)
  • craft foamy foam cut into animal shapes
  • tissue paper in all colors of the rainbow (can be purchased bulk in just the right colors!)
  • feathers (I used natural colors)
  • cut out pattern of a dove
  • tacky glue, or elmers glue
  • Large roll of white craft paper
  • bottle of decoupage or extra glue, watered down to thin to medium thickness
    cotton balls
  • Bulletin board size is approximately 4'high by 6'wide

I spent personal time braiding the jute into several lengths (I took several strands of jute, braided them into several different lengths and thicknesses) to form an ark bottom. I also drew an approximation of the bottom of the ark and the ark top (the shape of a house with 3 "windows").

I had the middle aged (grades 2-3) children glue them onto a piece of paper until the "ark bottom" was approximately 19 inches high and differing lenths long to form the body of the boat. While some of the children were busy gluing the ark together I had the others glue the popsicle sticks to form the bottom half of the ark top, and others glue the shingles on the roof. I also had one child glue the feathers to the precut dove. When it was dry I simply cut around the dove to make a very abstract bird. I used a pipe cleaner for the olive branch. Remember, this is abstract, so nothing has to be perfect, nor should it be.

The next week, I had the oldest range of children (grades 5-6) glue the torn pieces of tissue paper onto the white craft paper. (You will need to draw a guide for them) After they rainbow is formed with the tissue paper, "paint" it with the decoupage/water mixture until all the pieces are covered. It makes no matter is some of the paper is crunched up or sticking up, as this is abstract. The decoupage gives the whole thing texture and a sort of stained glass effect.

The third week I had the youngest children (ages 3-5) color the precut animals. We used washable markers. I told them that the animals could be any color except what they are in real life. (Pink elephants, blue alligators, polka dotted bears, etc). They found this to be a blast as they were allowed to use their imaginations instead of "following the rules".

To mount on bulletin board:

Cover bulletin board with blue paper tablecloth
Mount rainbow first, Ark top second, ark bottom third, then all the animals, people on the ark. Place the dove with olive branch in the sky. Place cotton balls for clouds.

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Building a Large Cardboard Noah's Ark

Moderator notes: The following question and responses were moved here from the help forum.

Our Vacation Bible School is using the curriculum from Heifer International's "Animal Crackers". We have been collecting quarters for over a year and our goal is to Fill the Ark, which is $5,000. We are a very small membership congregation in West Central Illinois, so sometimes we have to 'make do' when it comes to projects. We would like to make a large ark to have on the dais during VBS (July 6-9). How can we make this ark? Thanks so much!

Original Post

Hi Susan,

Take a look at the cardboard boat construction we did at my church.

While ours was half a boat designed to hang on a wall, you can see below it the simple wooden frame we built for it, and to which we stapled cardboard.   You could make the same 'half' boat with legs behind it to stand, or make a whole boat that stood on it's own.  The wood was simple 2" x 2" studs with rather flexible 1"x 2" boards for the boat shape. We screwed it together. Didn't have to look pretty because we covered it with cardboard.

We painted the cardboard brown, and used a combination of brush-strokes and extra paint to make it look "planked."

Alternately, find a rowboat, stick a painted refrig box in it, and fill with stuffed animals.

Hope this helps.


Appliance stores are good sources for (free) large cardboard boxes.

Furniture stores have big boxes from sofas.

Search online for "cardboard box noah's ark" and you will get all sorts of pictures and instructions.

Here is one picture of a big one that came up in my search: which includes lots of posts on showing Arks/boats built of varying sizes.

We built the Ark!  Over 4 weeks the kids all had a part in making our Ark wonderful.  Here is a picture of the blueprint and the final result.  We got our boxes at a 1/2 Price Boxes store.  $100 for 4 weeks worth of materials isn't too bad at all!Ark BlueprintP1230119


Images (2)
  • Ark Blueprint
  • P1230119: A picture of some of our kids in front of their Ark


Thanks for sharing the blueprint and the great picture!  I love all of the critters peeking out everywhere.

Cathy = 
The biggest, most curated, and most creative free Sunday School lessons, ideas, and resources on the web today. And if we don't have it posted, ask us for help!  We're also a supporting community.

Last edited by Neil MacQueen

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