If spring bank holidays bring rain, it doesn’t mean kids can’t go on an adventure. By following these simple steps they can even explore as far as outer space!
Now, we can’t promise this homemade rocket ship – constructed entirely from household items – meets exact NASA specifications, or is durable enough to survive re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere, but we’re sure it will fire your kids’ imaginations.
Here’s how to build it:
1. Collect your supplies
To build a homemade rocket ship you’ll need:
- A plastic 2-litre pop bottle, empty and rinsed out, with the label removed
- Poster paint in various colours
- A cardboard box, cut into squares
- A toilet roll tube
- A narrower, thicker cardboard tube (such as a cling film or wrapping paper tube)
- Tin foil
- Coloured crepe paper
- A selection of coloured beads
- A marker pen
- A glue stick
2. Create the rocket body
The first thing you’ll need to do is construct the main body of your ship, to ensure a comfortable flight for all space explorers. Cut completely through the bottle in a straight line about three-quarters of the way down from the cap. Next, draw a circle on one side of the bottle near the top using the marker pen. Carefully cut out this circle. Remember to assist young astronauts with the scissors!
3. Make your rocket aerodynamic
Now to make sure your rocket is built for speed. Take the pieces of cardboard box and mark out four matching fin shapes. Now draw two concentric circles on the cardboard, one slightly smaller than your discarded circle of bottle plastic and one slightly larger than it. You should have created a roughly 2cm thick ring which will form your rocket’s window frame.
Carefully cut out your fins and window frame. Next unravel your toilet roll tube and reshape it into a nose cone as shown. Secure the cone over the bottle top with tape. Cut two small lengths of your thicker cardboard tube to form thrusters.
4. Paint your rocket
Next to make your spaceship stand out from the crowd. Wrap the nose cone in tin foil and tape it down. Do the same with the window frame. Paint the body of your rocket and your fins in colours of your choosing, and paint the thrusters black.
5. Add the finishing touches
Nearly done. Using the glue stick, attach the window frame, fins and thrusters to your rocket body. Stick coloured beads to the rocket to create lights, and add any further decorations you want – such as go-faster stripes – using strips of tin foil.
6. Launch in 10… 9… 8…
Finally, it’s time to blast off! Cut strips of red, yellow and orange crêpe paper and glue them into the ends of the thrusters to create a fiery trail as the rocket soars upwards. You’re ready for orbit.