Inside: A rocket craft for kids, plus suggested children’s books about rockets.
My daughter has been all about space this year. With that in mind, I wanted to think up ideas for a rocket craft she’d love.
She loves imagining traveling to the moon in a shiny rocket, and so I thought right away of using foil.
Last summer, a friend and I had made cute foil elephants with a group of kids. With that craft, we wanted to be able to use plain old kitchen foil, but we needed it to be easy to cut shapes out of it without it crumpling on us.
We figured out that if you use spray glue on the foil, you can add a layer of paper to it – and that paper can act as an anti-crumple stabilizer.
This project is really easy, but it does need a little prep ahead of time — far enough ahead that the spray glue can dry.
- Printout of this rocket craft template (or another one you like)
- Aluminum foil
- Spray Adhesive (I used Elmer’s Craft Bond)
- Newspaper or another surface protector (for spraying the glue)
- Permanent markers in several colors, or acrylic paint
- Paint shirt or smock
- Star-shaped craft punch (optional)
- School Glue
- Black paper
- Red tissue paper
Depending on the age and abilities of your kids, you can prepare the rocket in advance up through steps 2, 3, or 4.
- Using the spray adhesive, glue the rocket printout to a sheet of aluminum foil. Press out any creases.
- Let the glue dry completely so you don’t gunk up your scissors.
- Cut out the rocket. Save the scraps.
- Lay the rocket, foil side down, on a cork board or several layers of folded up newspaper. On the paper side, trace around the interior lines with a ballpoint pen. This will indent an impression onto the foil side, giving your child guidelines for the windows and fins.
- Color the foil side of the rocket with permanent markers. Alternatively, you can use acrylic paint. We did it both ways. It’s fun to paint on the foil, but the paint dries matte rather than shiny. Permanent markers show the shiny foil underneath, so they’re my top pick.
- Use a star-shaped craft punch on the scraps to make foil stars. My girls love punching!
- Cut out rocket flames from the red tissue paper. Or, you could use streamers like in these cute puffy paint rockets.
- Assemble your rocket and star collage, and glue it onto black paper.
RELATED: See how we made a cute and simple astronaut dog
Rocket Books for Your Rocket Craft
If you’re going to make a rocket craft for kids, you need a picture book partner! Here are a few rocket theme picture books you and your kids might like. I found them all at my library.
(Disclosure: Books and Giggles is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.)
My favorite is Zoom, Rocket, Zoom! By Margaret Mayo, illustrated by Ale Ayliffe (affiliate). It has bright and bold illustrations. It’s a primer on space exploration, with lots of alliteration and onomatopoeia (two qualities I value in children’s books ).
Rocket to the Moon by Lerryn Korda (affiliate) is an imaginative introduction to space travel. The characters build a pretend play rocket out of household items. It’s short enough for young preschoolers, yet my kindergartners love it too.
Roaring Rockets by Tony Mitton and Ant Parket (affiliate) is a simple, rhyming explanation of what rockets
do and how they work, perfect for budding astronauts in the preschool set.
Where Is the Rocket? by Harriet Ziefert (affiliate), whimsically describes a rocket on a mobile. The focus is on directional words such as inside, outside, over, under, etc. The rhymes are pleasing, and I think toddlers would enjoy it. You could even zoom your foil rocket around (plus over, under, and behind) the book during a read aloud.
I hope this rocket craft is as much fun for you and your kids as it was here for us. Enjoy!