Life as a single Mother-Empty nest, Dating, Ex-husband, Best Friends, Full-time Employment, Unemployment, night school...How do these all relate to one another? Come with me:

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Rockets Red Glare...

Save up your toilet paper rolls.. at least the cardboard centers.

Summertime with little ones can be daunting on mothers. School is out and whether the parents work or not, kids get bored. Summer is filled with gatherings throughout the summer with family and friends. After everyone says their hellos and the food is devoured, what then?

Here is a fun and easy craft my mother brings to most every gathering. My children are no longer little but like to help the younger ones. I think they secretly still like to watch the rockets launch.

You will need:
Empty toilet paper tubes - enough for at least one per child.
Empty 35mm film canisters - enough for at least one per child.
These are harder to find now that we are in the digital world. Check with your local camera shop.
Duct tape
An abundance of stickers, glue sticks, markers, crayons, pipe cleaners...anything that will make Rockets look like rockets.
A box of effervescent medicinal tablets - Alka-seltzer or any cheaper substitute I suggest you buy the bulk pkg. Break into fourths beforehand and keep in an airtight container.
and a pitcher of tap water or a hose nearby
small plastic drinking cups- one per child (optional)

Cut down one side of the cardboard tube, wrap tube around canister just below the lid lip. The opening in the canister should still be open when the lid is off. Also, you should be able to easily open and close the lid on the canister.
Secure the canister in place with the tape.

At this point you can pass them to the kids to decorate. The older kids can create fins and a cone top. (Be sure to avoid occluding the canister opening and lid). While younger ones may be happy with a few stickers.

When everyone's rockets are ready to launch, pass out one cup of water and a few seltzer fourths.

To launch:
This is the best part. Watch their faces glow as they watch their rockets shoot for the sky...the anticipation is just enough to keep them on edge without boring them.

Fill the canister half way with water, place a seltzer fourth into the water and cap tightly and quickly. Smaller children may need help.
place the canister end of the rocket lid side down on a flat surface.
Then wait....

It takes approx 20-30 seconds for the pressure to build then the rocket is self-propelled into the air.

Happy launching!

This is an outdoor game... it can get messy. Kids will have fun shooting the rockets over and over. Soon enough even the younger ones get the hang of it on their own.

We were having too much fun to get pictures for a step-by-step but if these directions are not clear there are many websites that explain in more detail.

Happy Summer


  1. AnonymousJuly 08, 2010

    that looks like fun to me. I might have to try that.

  2. My father when he was a child growning up in Poland broke into some old Natzi bunker with his friend and stole a box of undeveloped film rolls, then they proceed to make fireworks out of it, it was about 1946. He always wondered what was on those photos and if he could have instead make millions selling them. You just reminded me of that story so I had to share... I hope you had wonderful 4th of July Celebration !!

  3. Sage- let me know how it goes.
    Polw- what a great story. I love treasures... isnt it funny how kids see treasure in a different light? Thank you for sharing that


Tell me what you think: