From splashing in the pool to shooting to outer space. Now that fall is upon us, transform your neglected pool noodles into rocket ships that really take off.
Rather than cluttering up the garage for a whole year, turn those pool noodles into good fun by creating rocket ships that really fly. Using just a few simple household items, it’s a quick project that will give the kids a little backyard adventure for those crisp fall days. While an adult is needed to do the cutting part of the project, the assembly could be done by school age children.
Pool noodles *
Card stock (Any type of stiff card stock will work such as the back of a notepad, shirt card or even corrugated cardboard boxes. Dig around in your recycling bin!)
Utility knife or x-acto knife (Scissors can be used for cutting, but it will be a little more difficult to get a nice clean edge.)
* Each pool noodle will make about three rocket ships. You can use either the smooth sided or bevel sided versions.
Cut three 3″x4″ rectangles out of the cardstock. These will be the starting point for the three fins. If you are making more than one rocket ship, you might want to cut enough rectangles for each one at this point.
On each of the three fins, cut the point off one corner by measuring down 1″ on either side of the point. This should give you about a 1.5″ angle. It doesn’t need to be too precise, but we found that this gave it a nice proportion.
Measuring down 18″ from one end, cut off a section of the pool noodle. This is your rocket ship body.
Trim one end of the rocket ship so that it has a cone-shaped or bevelled point like a pencil. This will be the nose of the rocket ship.
On the tail end of the rocket ship body, you will need to cut slits into the body to insert the fins. Use the long side of the fins to help measure the length. There should be two slits evenly spaced on the bottom and one slit on the top. You can slide the fins into place ensuring that the angled corner is on top facing the front of the rocket ship.
Once the fins are in place, secure them with duct tape.
You are ready to blast off! Just raise the rocket ship above your head in one hand and launch it just like you would a paper airplane. These rockets really can go quite far and high, so I recommend using them outside where there is plenty of space.
Try a little science experience by testing different materials for the weight in the nose and different sizes and weights of passengers (see below). See which combination makes it go the highest or farthest!
If you would like to have a passenger in your rocket ship, you can trim out a cockpit in the middle of the top of the body. Use your toy as a guide to the size of the cut-out. Since the pool noodle is hollow, a nice little space is created to nestle in a little figurine such as playmobile or any other toy of a similar size.
Caution: Your passenger may jump ship if the rocket gets up a good speed, so don’t use anything too precious that might break!
Amanda Wood makes handmade goods for the family home under the name Owl + Pussycat. As a mom of two active boys who is passionate about bringing DIY into the hands of children, she is always on the lookout for thrifty craft ideas to keep them busy. Blog | Etsy