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Toilet Paper Roll Rocket

In the commercial world we live in it feels like we have forgotten how to be creative with children at times. I can remember as a child having “creative control” over the ‘make and do box’. I used to love having an idea and making it from scratch with glue and materials. We still have a santa claus that I made when I was not quite 3 out of red fabric and fibrefill stuffing. I drew the eyes on with texta. Makes for beautiful memories and irreplaceable treasures.

My son Thomas is into things that fly at the moment. In the car the other day he asked me “Do rockets have wings Mummy? Can they fly?”. We had a great conversation about rockets, including counting backwards from 10 and then he said “can we buy a toy rocket Mummy?”. I spent the next few minutes thinking about where I had seen a toy rocket (that cost $75) and whether I would buy it for him when I suddenly thought – we could make one! Ok, it’s not built to last but the concept is there and he was able to be a part of making it. Making things with children (rather than going out and buying them) allows children to develop imagination, creativity, planning and patience, and problem solving, not to mention fine motor skills and developing self esteem.

To build this fine looking rocket you will need:

1 toilet paper roll



aluminium foil

pva glue/paint brush

sticky tape

What you do:

Cut 2 triangle shapes from the cardboard and attach to the sides of the toilet paper roll at the bottom.

Cut a semi circle shape from cardboard and make a cone shape. Fasten it with sticky tape and attach to the top of the toilet paper roll.

Cut a square shape out of toilet paper roll for a window.

Give your child some foil and a container and show them how to rip it into small pieces. Once this is done, let you child ‘paint’ the rocket with glue and then let them cover the rocket with the foil they have already ripped. You may need to help them by folding pieces over and making sure they stick.

This is a very basic rocket. Older children could help with the planning of the rocket. Get them to look at pictures of rockets on the internet to see what they look like and what parts they might like to put on their rocket. Provide them with the materials and allow them to use their problem solving skills to implement their designs.

Thomas now wants to make an aeroplane… What things can you think of (or have you made) to make from ‘recycled’ materials you can find around the house? We’d love to hear your ideas!


3 responses »

  1. Some of our latest creative moments have been

    Kites – Brown paper bag (We collaged this with glitter and coloured paper pieces)
    Attached some crepe paper and string.

    Binoculars – 2 toilet rolls
    cellophane paper
    sticky tape

    Discovery bottles – We had a collection of 600ml water ans soft drink bottles so we filled them with different materials, such as coloured water, rice, marbles, feathers, bells, glitter. We did secure the lids on tightly so they couldn’t be opened.

    Snow globes – empty peanut butter or vegemite jar
    – water
    – glitter
    – strong glue to seal lid.

    Pot Plant – courtesy of my 7 yr old niece after helping in the garden.

    pot – small yoghurt container
    dirt – brown crepe paper or any paper really
    flowers – Paddle pop sticks, patty cases, glitter and pom poms.

    and the list goes on.

    I think one of the best things we can do is provide them with materials and let their imaginations run wild.

  2. Happy to send some pics. I will get onto that soon.


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