As I journey down our homeschool path, I have a few homeschool “bibles” from which I source activities and ideas for my 5 year olds learning (like this Easy Rocket Project for Kids activity) One of these books is Rachelle Dooreley's book, Tinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors. The recently published book is accessible and, well, beautiful. I like to look at it's pages. I feel inspired by the words and images.
“There is the happiness which comes from creative effort. The joy of dreaming, creating, building, whether in painting a picture, writing an epic, singing a song, composing a symphony, devising new invention, creating a vast industry.” ~ Henry Miller
Doorley presents simple yet powerful ideas to help us parents and teachers guide our children's innate desire to learn, to do, to build, to wonder, to create, and to imagine by presenting an arsenal of hands on learning activities.. Children develop problem solving, logic, and critical thinking skills by doing rather than imitating. Doorley provides easy to read and to digest philosophy and research behind the ideas presented in Tinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors. She also provides tangible words of wisdom to adults in how to make these activities happen in our home and classrooms. You will be hearing a lot more about this book as we explore and progress through it.
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- 1 piece of paper (or 2 if you want different colors)
- Cut paper in half
- Roll one half into your rocket's body
- Tape so the body stays wrapped up
- Cut a circle about 1.5 inches in diameter from the other piece of paper
- Cut slit to center (or origin of the circle
- Roll from slit to create a cone from the circle
- Tape paper to maintain a cone
- Place nose on the end of the rocket's body. Secure with tape.
- Blow a puff of air through the straw. Watch your child's face light up with joy.
- Child can decorate her rocket. So add decorating materials (e.g. glitter, glue, markers, stickers, etc) to your materials list for added rocket detail.
- Incorporate your rocket into imaginary play and storytelling
- Use shorter (or longer or fatter or skinnier) straw and see what happens
- Use shorter (or longer or fatter or skinnier) body and see what happens
- Use different size cones for the nose. Observe what changes when you blow through the straw.
- Ask about shapes (e.g. cone, circle, cylinder)
- Ask about what launches the rocket
- Ask how we might change the speed at which the rocket launches (blow slowly, blow quickly, short breath, long breath, etc)
- Remove the nose and ask why the rocket doesn't launch
- Blow up instead of out. How does this change the launch pattern of the rocket?
- Discuss gravity.
This project is one of over 50 in Rachelle's book, Tinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors. She has a great Tinkerlab blog, too. I can't recommend her work enough to you all! You won't regret a minute spent!