As I journey down our homeschool path, I have a few homeschool “bibles” from which I source activities and ideas for preschool learning. For example, one of these books is Rachelle Doorley's Tinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors. This book is accessible, beautiful, and filled with easy crafts (like the rocket ship craft in this post) for preschoolers. In other words, I simply enjoy the process of looking at its pages because I feel inspired by the words and images. I am excited to show you one of the many projects in this book – the straw rocket craft, simple and packs a punch with kids. If you have ever wondered how to make a rocket with kids, this easy craft is the perfect starting point.
“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. She does this by introducing easy crafts and activities for preschoolers, like the rocket craft presented in this post. This science craft is the perfect addition to a spaced themed unit of learning.
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.
Easy Rocket Ship Craft for Preschoolers
- 1 piece of construction paper (or 2 if you want different colors)
How to Make a Rocket for Kids
- 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
- Then, cut a slit to the center (or origin of the circle
- Roll from slit to create a cone from the circle
- Tape paper to maintain a cone
- Finally, 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.
11 Easy Extensions for this Easy Craft
- The 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
- Try a 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
- Create different size cones for the nose. Observe what changes when you blow through the straw.
- Ask about shapes (e.g. cone, circle, cylinder)
- Discuss rocket launches
- Inquire how the speed at which the rocket launches might change (blow slowly, blow quickly, short breath, long breath, etc)
- Remove the nose and ask why the rocket doesn't launch
- Then try blowing up instead of blowing out. How does this change the launch pattern of the rocket?
- Take the space learning a bit further and 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!
More Straw Rocket Projects for Kids
If your child wants more straw rockets, check out these tutorials. Have fun!
Make a Slingshot Straw Rocket
How to Make Simple Straw Rockets
How to Make a Rocket from Paper & a Straw
I hope we inspired you today!