Paper Rockets Tutorial

June 28, 2011

During preschool this year, we had a wildly successful Space themed week at my house.  One of the two crafts I did with the kids, was to make a paper rocket.  I found the idea on a preschool website, but I can't remember where.  This is the simplest project, and the kids loved it!  I repeated it again a few days later with some friends (ages 6, 4, and 2), and it was also a big hit.

Since we are approaching all of our big national holidays (both the 4th of July Independence Day, and Canada Day on July 1st), I thought it would be fitting to share this fun and simple craft.  I don't know about you, but I'm not quite ready to unleash my kids on real fireworks.  Paper Rockets seem a bit safer for my fire-loving 3 year old.

If you are getting together with friends (and their kids) for the holidays, this would be a great little something to keep them busy (and still safe), while you have some adult time.  If you have older kids helping, it would require almost no adult supervision, maybe just with the taping.

Paper Rockets Tutorial

What you need:

  • White computer paper (one piece will make 4 rockets)
  • Crayons
  • Stickers (optional)
  • Clear tape
  • Plastic straws
Step 1: Prep

Cut the computer paper into 4 long strips.  I used my trusty paper cutter, and folded my paper in half lengthwise twice to mark where to cut.  It doesn't need to be exact, but if you are having competitions later on, you'll want to keep them the same size to keep things fair :)

Step 2: Decorate

My preschool kids decorated their rockets with crayons and then with tons of the tiny foil star stickers that come in sheets from office supply stores.  These are cheap and I like to keep them on hand for craft projects like this one.  Only one side needs to be decorated, but if they are having fun, but all means encourage them to colour away.

Step 3: Make the Rocket

If your kids are little (two or three), they will probably need help with this whole step. Older kids might just need a little direction.

These are really simple, but my only tip to make an awesome high flying rocket, is to make sure that the pointed end is completely sealed with tape.  This is crucial if your kids tend to spit when they blow through a straw.  As soon as the pointed end is wet and torn, the rocket won't fly.  Making sure it is covered with tape with help create a good air tight seal.
Step 4: Play!

Once all the rockets are made, stick a plastic straw into the hole, hold onto just the straw, and blow!  Your rocket should launch right off the end.

After all the kids figured out how to launch their rockets, we had fun lining them up and seeing who could launch theirs the farthest.

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