Make a Vibrant Balloon Rocket – You Only Need 4 Things!

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  • Things you probably have at home:
    • Tape – you may want plain tape for the base and washi or decorative tape to dress up the outside
    • Rubber band – to help get an air tight seal around the straw
  • Things to buy: Schedule a remind 1 week before you want to do this activity to buy supplies
    • Straws – here are some colorful ones, but any will work (we did not test bendy straws). You need 1 per rocket.
    • Balloons – you can even find more decorative balloons for extra pizzazz. You need 1 per balloon.
    • Paper – we had a paper airplane kit like this, so we used this paper. Any paper is fine, you barely need any per rocket.

Use any paper, straws or balloons you have – it doesn’t have to be specialty supplies!

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Ideal Age Range:

5 – 9 will be ideal for this. (Younger kids will need your help to secure the balloon with an air tight seal so it works.) You can also easily make these for younger kids to play with if they (or you) can blow up the balloon each time.

Mess Factor:

Low. You will have to clean up the cut paper and balloon scraps but this is not messy.

Prep Time:

About 20 minutes. This may take a little time for kids to get right, so have some extra supplies. Creating the perfect seal from the balloon and straw so that they can blow up the balloon repeatedly takes a few tries.

Active Instructions:

Instructions for how to create your balloon rocket
  1. Cut about 1/2″ off of the neck of the balloon (include the very end). Place the cut balloon neck over one end of the straw and wrap it so it lays as flat as possible around the straw. Secure with a small rubber band.
  2. Place tape around the rubber band, making sure that part of the tape is on the balloon/ rubber band and part attaches to the straw.
    • This is a good place to use regular, strong tape and nothing fancy.
    • You are creating a seal that makes sure the balloon stays attached to the straw but can still be blown up.
    • Give the balloon a test to make sure air can get through before moving on.
  3. Finish the balloon section off with washi or decorative tape.
  4. Cut three small triangles out of paper – you can vary the designs, we used three different patterns for ours.
    • For younger children you can trace a triangle and have them cut using safety scissors – this will help make sure they are all relatively the same size.
  5. Use tape to attach the triangles to the opposite end of the straw. Make sure to attach them at least 1/2″ from the bottom, leaving room for your mouth to blow up the balloon.
    • We used multiple pieces of tape between two different paper triangles to give some added support (our origami-style paper was thinner), this may not be needed for construction paper or card stock.
    • This part isn’t essential for function, it is just decoration – so don’t stress too much about perfection here!
  6. Kids can decorate the straw body with markers for added flair if they would like
  7. Blow up your balloons and send them flying!

Ideas for enhanced play:

If you want to increase the amount of time your child will use the rocket, you can set up a few tests/ challenges:

  • Add tape marks on the floor to measure length and see how far the rocket will go
  • Have one child hold up a hula hoop and see if another can aim the rocket to go through the middle

What other fun ideas did your child come up with to play with their balloon rocket? Let us know in the comments below or tag us in social media!
If you want to pin this project, please use the image below.

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