Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Homemade Rocket Ship

We were tricked by the weather again.  Were you?  It was warm and then it snowed, but I am hoping somewhere, someone is enjoying the sun and will be able to use this fun, easy homemade rocket ship.  My kids have enjoyed them for years and were a little sad when I pulled out all the goods only to see it was too cold outside.

You will need:
  • water
  • Alka-seltzer tablets
  • 35mm film canister
  • rocket ship clip art
It is really important to have the correct type of film canister.  The crucial part is having an inner seal.  Next time you are at a store with a photo counter ask them if they have any left over.  Costco or Sams Club usually have an abundance and collect them for recycling.  They won't have any problem giving you some since they will either throw them away or recycle them.  I came home with 25 canisters to use for my daughter's preschool class.
Next, find a rocket ship sized down to about the height of the canister.  I found several cute ones by searching "rocket ship clip art" on Google Image.  Its fun to let your kids decorate and color their own rocket.  This part builds anticipation for the launch.  Attach the rocket to the canister with tape.  Remember the bottom of the rocket is the lid of the canister.
This is definitely an outside activity.  When you find your launching site outside, drop one Alka-Seltzer tablet into each canister.
Fill the canister about half full of water.  Immediately, the Alka-Seltzer will begin to react and bubble.
Quickly, snap the lid into place.  Give the canister a little shake.  Set the rocket on the ground, lid down.  Run away.  Warn your little ones to stay away once the rocket is set.  The party would be ruined if someone got whacked in the face.
3,2,1 Blast off!  Within seconds the pressure inside the canister starts to build until the lid pops and the rocket "launches" into the air.  Oooos and ahhhs come next.  Retrieve the rocket and lid to use again.  One Alka-Seltzer tablet may have 3-4 uses before it runs out of gas.

At least an hour of amusement will come of these little rockets.  This would be easy to take to the park, beach or camping trip.  I hope you and your kids enjoy them as much as we do!

1 comment:

Sherie said...

Love this idea. Why is it that the funnest things are always something you have to set and then run away from?