Snack: Eat "space food" - perhaps
some beef jerky and a fruit juice pouch with a punch-in straw.
Appliance boxes | box cutter or
Duct tape | Measuring tape |
Hot-glue or craft glue
White spray-paint | Silver
spray-paint | Foil
Old hardware and switches |
Upcyclables like milk jug lids
Kids are always into space. One mom was
telling her 4-year-old son that she had signed him up for soccer; he replied
with, "OK, Mom, I will get my shoes and helmet so I can be a space cadet
while I play!"
So it is a "must" of childhood to build
a spaceship and engage in the imaginative play that is the birthright of all
A great time to do this is before the
famous Perseids meteor shower of around Aug. 12. Use a search-engine to find
out when the shooting stars are likely to be most evident in your area, and
build this spaceship beforehand. As you build it with your child or children,
talk about space stuff, including meteors, and fire up their imaginations. It
would be really fun to wake up your child in the wee hours during the Perseids
and go outside to watch shooting stars together from the child's own
Earth-bound rocket ship.
How to get enough cardboard for a spaceship? You will need 2, 3 or
more big boxes; you want the spaceship big enough for a couple of kids to get
in together. Appliance retailers and big furniture stores that sell
refrigerators, washers and dryers usually cut up their cardboard boxes as soon
as they arrive. But if you ask in advance, they will gladly set some aside for
You must go there in a pickup truck, SUV or other large vehicle to
get them and bring them home. But if you can arrange for several big boxes,
then you can do this activity with other families or an after-school or summer
group and make all different shapes and sizes of spaceships.
Basically, you build a sturdy base and cut extra shapes from the
extra boxes. Consult with your child as you go along; you might even sketch out
your ideas on paper together, to get the engineering experience as well.
Use a box cutter or utility knife to build doors, windows, flaps,
slits and other construction "needs." Connect with duct tape. Add a control
panel of old hardware, old switches and even milk jug lids and other
Overspray with white primer and finish with silver spray. You can
glue on trim or decorations with aluminum foil.
This makes a great birthday party setting, especially if you get
enough boxes to allow for all of the party guests to get inside at the same
time and "blast off" with fun!