To make your rocket you will need a soda bottle. Don’t use a water bottle because it won’t be able to handle the pressure. We used one liter bottles. These were actually seltzer water bottles and were about 75 cents each.
Next, peel the wrapper off of the bottle and them rinse out the inside. Let the bottles dry. It doesn’t matter if the inside doesn’t dry completely.
While waiting for the bottles to dry you can make the nose cones. We used poster board for this. I used the template found on this site. I used Elmers glue. After, about the 5th one, I found the best way to hold the cone to allow it to dry was to hold one hand from underneath
And to use my other hand to pinch it.
Now a tip I learned and would have done was to just use party hats, however, we were short on time.
Next, you will need to make the fins. We used cardboard for this. Pizza boxes work well.
To attach the fins equally, you can cut a strip of paper the length of the circumference of the bottle. Then, measure the strip and mark it into three equal parts with a marker.
Now you can use this strip to mark the bottle to know where to glue the fins. We glued the fins with hot glue.
Once the fins were dry we glued the nose cones on top of the rocket. Next, after all of the glue has dried, you can spray paint the rockets. We just used a flat white.
Now they are ready to decorate. I found some alphabet stickers and American flags and star stickers. I also, got some markers. The kids had a fun time decorating them.
Now, you might be wondering did we really launch them? We sure did. You will need water to place in the rocket. You can experiment with the amount that works best, but we used about 1 cup of water.
Next, you will need a launcher. A site with great instructions is HERE if you would like to make one yourself. We found one on Amazon with good reviews and decided to just order one. You can find it HERE.
You will also need a pump with a pressure gauge. It can be a foot pump, but we didn’t have one. We had one with a built in air compressor that also provides the car with a jump start. We got it after losing power one to many times in Virginia due to storms. You attach the pump to the launcher and then add pressure. You’ll want to experiment with this too, but 50 psi worked well for us. The instructions that came with our launcher suggested we weigh it down. We used two 5 pound weights that weren’t being used for anything else.
The kids had a BLAST! No pun intended, well maybe a little. After each launch the kids would all run after the rocket laughing.