Plan a trip to the moon or through the rings of Saturn while you show your child how to make a rocket ship. Fortunately, you don’t need a NASA budget to make this rocket a reality. This activity requires time and patience, but it's a great way to teach kids about construction and measurement. Your kid will put her creativity to use as she paints, decorates, and designs. This project requires a lot of cutting with a sharp utility knife. Make sure you do these steps yourself, but encourage your child to help with measuring and assembling whenever she can.
What You Need:
- A large cardboard box (such as a cabinet box or a dishwasher box)
- Additional corrugated cardboard
- Utility knife (and an adult to use it)
- Straight edge
- Packaging or duct tape
- Tempera or other craft paint
- Optional decorations including glow-in-the-dark stickers
What You Do:
- The large box is the base of the rocket. Start by cutting a door so that little astronauts can enter and leave their rocket ship. You can cut three sides of the door and fold it back so that it is “hinged” or simply cut it out entirely to leave an opening. For an especially big rocket, cut port hole windows as needed to light the interior.
- Nothing is worse than an unstable rocket. Cut several triangles from the extra pieces of cardboard and help your young astronaut tape these tail fins to the base of each corner.
- Now it’s time to make the nose of your rocket. This will require four corrugated cardboard triangles. Pick one side of the box and attach the triangle to it. The base of the triangle should be the same as the side of the box. Use the straight edge to add the remaining two sides of the triangle; make them equal in length and note this length for the remaining triangles. Repeat this step to make three more identical triangles.
- Tape the triangles together to form a pyramid. Then tape the pyramid to the top of your rocket.
- Help your astronauts decorate their rocket ship. They can use paint, glow-in-the-dark stickers or markers.
- Once the rocket ship is all decorated, use it in some imaginary game play! For extra fun, make some mini marshmallow poppers. They're the perfect alien defense system!