Jan 21, 2009

Giant cardboard rocket ship

The kids had so much fun with the melon box wendy house/shanty town we made a few months ago, that I thought it was time to create another recycled monumental obstruction in our living room.

Being winter rather than summer this time, we ended up using a potato box instead of a watermelon box as the base for the structure. Again though, all the cardboard was brought home after a trip to Costco. It took about 15 sheets of the corrugated cardboard that they have inbetween the pallets of diaper boxes/toilet rolls/cereal boxes.

The design was limited by the irregular octagonal shape of the potato box base, so it looks like a bit of a weird rocket, but I think without that sturdy base box it wouldn't last two minutes with the number of kids that it will be subjected to.

Like the wendy house, it only took one evening after the kids were in bed to build the structure (exacto knife, stapler and duct tape), but this time I really wanted to decorate it, so the next night I stuck on a load of aluminium foil and painted the rest of it. Finished it off by trimming the door with duct tape so it wouldn't rip when being played with and printed out and stuck on some American flags and a NASA logo. The windows were from some plastic packaging that I had held onto rather than putting in the recyling bin.
The timing was pretty cool, because the kids woke up to a huge rocket ship decked out in American colours ready for Obama's inauguration. We had a load of kids over that day and they had a lot of fun playing in it. It seemed like a fitting preschool analogy for launching on a mission with a new leader.

On the inside I didn't have much time to sort out too many things, but I did glue gun some dollar store glow in the dark numbers to a panel and some other random bottle top button things. I made a safety switch "blast off" button. It's made from the lid of a coffee creamer bottle that flips up to reveal a button. The button is really a glue gunned in place old keyring that is an aeroplane and makes crazy take off noises when you press it.
Here it is in operation, sorry about the dreadful video, it's rather dark in the rocket (I have torches in there for the kids at the moment, but want to sort out some weird cabin lighting when I get the chance).

The other weird thing in there is the "Captain Pajamo, remote-control, techno-robotic, alien communicator". This is actually a second hand kid's tape deck with two microphones attached that I got from goodwill, but the kids favourite book at the moment is Captain Pajamas (another book that we picked up from Goodwill), and just having pictures of him on it and being able to amp up their voices extra loud and radio sounding is enough to get screams of laughter from them.
There were eleven kids over in total for inauguration day and we managed about five at a time in the rocket. We made some blue and red cakes with white icing and sprinkles for them to celebrate too.Even if they didn't totally get the significance, I think they had a good day.


tracey (aka rainbowmummy) said...

You THINK they had a good day! Woman are you crazy??!!?!?! If you made that for me (now not as a kid) I think I'd have the best day of my life! Wanna move to Scotland and babysit for me? No? Oh man!

tracey (aka rainbowmummy) said...

award for you at mine xx

bethany said...

I really just can't believe this rocket ship-you are my hero!! :)

I want one in my living room-it's tempting to renew my membership to Costco just for the cool boxes!

Karin said...

Wow!!! When Lorraine over at Ikatbag.blogspot... told me about this amazing rocket ship out of cardboard, she wasn't kidding. Wow again! I love it. And all the details too. The flip-up blast-off button is absolutely genius!

I've been meaning to scout out some big boxes for new structures here. No Costco in town here but I should ask at the local Sam's Club...

(Saw the Wendy house post too. So super!)

LiEr said...

I covet this! I want to make it! But my husband has declared a moratorium on big cardboard structures in our house- BAH! I showed him your pictures and he was impressed! It is amazing, amazing, amazing. I love the details (we love NASA too!) and the careful planning to the foundation. But my favorite must be the SPEED with which you finished it. Wow! Saw your other cardboard creations and I love them. Oddly, although it isn't a 3D structure, I especially like the cardboard pizza and I think I might do that this week with the girls. The crust! Genius. So glad MaryAnne linked to your site so I could come see.

Just remembered: I made another mailbox for a gift and posted here:


Better pictures, in case you want to see.

Lorraine/LiEr (I go by both names - LiEr is my middle).

Ann @TheAssetEdge said...

What a super fun idea!

Next time you head to the library, you should check out these 2 books:
A Box Can be Many Things
Not A Box

Anonymous said...

A thousand thank you's from both my little girl and myself. We will be having great fun building our own.

Anonymous said...

Celebrating Obama is unbelievably naive. I hope you educate yourself before trying to raise kids

Anonymous said...

How awesome! I think this was an event they will always remember....too bad Obama is shutting down the shuttle program.

Mrs P said...

This is SO amazing!! I was searching for inspiration after my daughter announced that she would like to make her own model rocket, and I found your post - thanks!
Here's our attempt: http://teampattisson.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/project-day.html See what you've started?!

jennifischer.blogspot.com said...

This is incredible! I absolutely love it!! I included in it a recent post I did on rocket ships and space. I only posted just last night (late last night) and this morning saw your note about using photos. I do give proper credit, but if you would like for me to remove the photo use from the post, I will happily do so. Thanks. Here is the post: http://jennifischer.blogspot.com/2013/02/ten-for-tuesday-things-that-go-in-space.html