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Cardboard Spaceship


Today's Snack: Eat "space food" - perhaps some beef jerky and a fruit juice pouch with a punch-in straw.





Appliance boxes | box cutter or utility knife

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 kids.


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.


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 upcyclables.


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!


By Susan Darst Williams Building 2012

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