We're going to create a simple air pressure powered paper rocket that you can put together in a only a few minutes. I made this for my kid (five), but it would be a fun project for an older child to make and fly, too. I used to build them all the time in Jr. High.
Warning: Hot glue? It gets hot. If your kid is making one of these, adult supervision would be a good thing.
Yet Another Warning: Rockets are pointy. Don't be an idiot and point these at people's faces.
Step 1: Materials
To build the rocket, you'll need the following materials:
- 1 sheet of 8.5x11in paper
- Masking or Painter's tape (use colored tape for colored rockets)
- A ball point pen like the one pictured or a large drinking straw (for the launcher)
- A hot glue gun and glue stick (if you don't have this, you can use regular white glue, but you'll be waiting a couple of DAYS for the glue to fully dry)
Step 2: Cut Your Paper, Prepare Launcher
First, disassemble the pen so that all you're left with is the barrel, as shown below. Then cut two pieces of paper the length of the launcher and roughly 2in in width.
Step 3: Making The Rocket Body
Now, affix a piece of tape along one long side of one of the pieces of paper, flip it over, and roll the paper, from the opposite end, loosely around the pen barrel to form the rocket body. The rocket body should slide easily along the barrel, without too much room for air to escape.
Step 4: Finishing The Body
Next, finish covering any exposed paper with the painter's tape and slide it off the pen. Trim up the ends of the tube, to remove any excess tape.
Step 5: Seal The End
Seal one end of the tube with tape.
Step 6: Prepping for Tail Fins
Now cut three lengths of tape, approximately 2.5in long. We'll be folding these to make the tail fins for our rocket (you can do four if you really want to, but for a rocket this size, 3 fits better).