Film Canister Rockets
Greater St. Louis Area Council

DO NOT use vinegar and baking soda. They react far too quickly. Use 1/4 to 1/3 Alka Seltzer and water. Cold water reacts much slower that Hot water. We staple a toilet paper tube to a small paper plate to act as a mortar tube. Be sure to place the canister upside down into the tube and don't look down into the tube while waiting for it to pop. This is a good outdoor event because it can get rather messy. By the way, the FUJI film canisters (white or clear) work better than the KODAK gray canisters,

Moon Walk

Cover floor with pillows. Cover the pillows and floor with a sheet. Attach extra-large sized thick sponges to the Cub Scout's feet with rubber bands for space shoes.

Let them walk over the area. Play space walk music for a real dramatic effect.


Star Gazing
Trapper Trails Council

Empty film container, paper, tape, small flashlight

You can make a small template of the star constellations and tape the paper template to the bottom of a black film container and using a strong pin punch through the container using the template as a guide. Then you can shine a small flashlight through the hole and it will show up on the wall or the side of a tent

Mini Rocket Racers
Heart of America Council

This is an alternative to the rocket racers supplied by the B.S.A. The race track is thin string or fishing line strung between two points.  The race vehicles are paper cones, threaded onto that line.  The power is supplied by the Scouts blowing into the open end of the cone to the finish line.  You may choose to make your own, or use the disposable drinking cup cones that can be purchased from retail stores.  This activity can have the Scouts make and decorate (with magic markers) their cones right at the pack meeting or ahead of time.  This activity is simple but filled with fun and adventure.


The Rocket
National Capital Area Council

Threading a straw with a launch line makes the rocket. Leader blows up a long balloon. He attaches it to the straw with tape. The Cub then goes to the other end of the launch area and waits by his parent. Cubmaster then attaches the award to the balloon and releases the balloon. It rockets to the parent for the award to be given to the Cub.


To Make An Alien Head
National Capital Area Council

Materials:  1-2 yards green fabric, 1-1 1/2 feet elastic, green thread, needle, plastic bags

Directions: Cut out a large circle of green fabric. The larger you want the head, the bigger the circle. Then, hem the ends of the fabric, but leave enough space to get the elastic through. Then, when you are done hemming, pull the elastic through the space in the hem. When the elastic is through, connect both ends together with the thread. Stuff your head with plastic bags to make it stand up, put it on your head (tuck your hair under), and you're ready to go.


Rocket Ship Bank
York Adams Area Council


          Potato chip can

          Colored or contact paper


          4 Craft Sticks or Tongue Depressors

Directions:  Remove the corrugated paper on the inside of the can. Cover the outside with colored paper.  Invert the can so the plastic lid is on the bottom of the rocket for easy removal of the money. For the nose cone, cut a 2½” diameter circle of colored paper; remove a pie-shaped wedge.  Overlap and glue the ends to form a cone.  Glue the cone to the top of the rocket. Cut a coin slot just below the nose cone. For fins, cut three vertical slits near the bottom of the rocket, insert and glue a popsicle stick into each. Cover each fin with colored paper that is cut a little wider than the popsicle stick and glue in place.


Soda Bottle Rockets


          2 soda bottles

          Card stock printed pattern

          Markers, crayons, or colored pencils





          Wood block approximately 4" long piece of "2 by 4" lumber

          One wood screw

          One rubber automotive valve stem

          Bicycle tire pump

Preparation:  Review and prepare materials. Build the launch pad by cutting 2 1/2" off the cap end of the bottle, cut a 3/8" slot down one side of the bottle for the tire pump hose, drill or punch a hole in the bottom of the bottle, screw the bottle to the block of wood.


Print the patterns. Cut the fins out. Cut the nose cone out.

Roll and tape the nose cone. Tape the nose cone to the bottom of the whole soda bottle.

Fold the fins at all the dotted lines. Glue or tape two of the fins together. Wrap the fins around the middle of the whole soda bottle and glue or tape the last fin together.

Launch Time:  This is an outdoor activity. If gusty winds are a problem, then abort the launch. Everyone should stand away from rockets when they are on the launch pad. These rockets can shoot 100 feet or more into the air. No sharp objects should be placed on top of the nose cone or elsewhere on the rocket.

Fill the soda bottle a little less than half way with water. Shove the large end of the tire valve stem into the neck of the bottle. Attach the bicycle pump hose to the valve stem. Lower the bottle into the launch pad so that the hose slides down into the slot, the valve stem points down and the bottle rests on top of the cut bottle.

Inexpensive Launch Pad

Pump up the bottle until it pops off the valve stem and flies to new heights.

Wrap-Up:  One way to record the results of different "fuel" mixtures is to make a simple graph of height vs. amount of water. Such a graph gives a clear, visual record of the observations and can be used as evidence to support interpretations.

Design And Launch Other Rockets. Design a two-stage rocket. Design recovery mechanisms such as parachute, ribbon or propeller.


Rocket In Space Slide
Debbie Kalpowsky
York Adams Area Council



          1 to 1½-inch disks

          Black or dark blue paint

          Glitter or glow-in-the-dark paint

          1-inch miniature rocket models (white preferred)

          ¾-inch PVC slide rings


          Hot glue

          Small paint brushes

          Old toothbrushes

          Craft sticks


1.        Paint front of disk with black or dark blue paint.

2.        If using glitter for stars in background, when paint is slightly tacky sparingly sprinkle glitter on disk.

3.        If using glow-in-the-dark paint, wait until black paint is dry.  Pour a little bit of glow-in-the-dark paint into a small lid or on a small paper plate. 

4.        Dab toothbrush into paint to get just a little on the bristles.  Pointing the business end of the toothbrush away from you and at the painted disk and with bristles pointing up, scrape the craft stick across the bristles so that the bristles “splatter” the paint onto the disk.

5.        When all paint is completely dry, use hot glue to mount the spaceship/rocket on the disk, as if in flight.

Mount the slide ring to back of disk using hot glue.


Model Rocketry
York Adams Area Council

Some Tips for Introducing Kids to Model Rocketry

1. Keep the first trips to the flying field short. Kids have a limited attention span and can become bored very quickly. When they begin to show signs of losing interest, it's time to go.

2. Prep a few rockets in advance to keep "down time" at a minimum for the first trips. Get everything set except the parachute. This should always be packed just prior to launch for reliable deployment.

3. Kids hate to lose things, including rockets. Kids will be much happier if you have a successful launch and recovery with an "A" or "B" motor from 500' than if you stuff the biggest motor a rocket can handle and punch it up over 1000' and never see it again. We enjoy watching the whole flight sequence take place.

4. Involve the kids in building the rockets. This can be as simple as handing you parts or helping to assemble the parachute. This gives the kids a feeling of ownership. They want to fly "their" rocket. Estes E2X kits require very basic modeling skills and a minimum amount of time to go from box to the launch and are a good choice for first rocket projects. I built our MK-109 E2X kit in 20 minutes.

5. Build a variety of rockets. Let the kids help to pick out some of the kits. Build some "different" rockets, not just 3 fins and a nosecone. Try a 2 stage rocket, a boost glider or exotic sci-fi kit. Try a streamer or helicopter recovery instead of just parachutes. Try an egglofter to see if you can launch and recover a raw egg without breaking it.

6. Teach the kids all about the flight. Explain the reasons for things that happen. Encourage questions and discussion. Brian has developed an incredible interest in rocketry, space and science. I believe a large part of this is due to our rocketry.

7. Teach and practice safety! Always stress the importance of safety. The adult should be in control of the safety key at all times. Never allow anyone to approach the pad while the controller is armed. The National Association of Rocketry Safety Code is packed with all model rocketry products. Learn it and follow it!


Water Rocket Trails
York Adams Area Council

Water rockets are great fun for the boys.  To make them, you will need to collect a bunch of 2-liter soda bottles, make fins (see diagram) and then get together several launch pads, using tire pumps, sports ball needles, and rubber corks. 

Push the needle through the cork and attach the needle to the tire pump. 

Fill a rocket about 1/3 full of water and plug a cork into the opening. 

Stand the rocket upright (upside down) with the tire pump nearby to pressurize the bottle.  (The rockets will stand on their own on the tips of the fins.)

Have the Cub or an adult pump the pump until liftoff.


Paper Towel Rockets
York Adams Area Council

Save enough empty paper rolls for the den rockets.  Glue fins to base and a cone of construction paper to the top of it.  Paint with wild colors or cover with wild-colored wrapping paper.



Using construction paper, have each Cub design his own kite.  It can be the traditional diamond shape, or box  shape or triangle shape.  Use curling ribbon to add a pretty tail and with which to hang it from a light.


Star Gazers

Poke small holes into the end of a black film cartridge container to make a star constellation.  In a darkened room, shine a flashlight through the holes to see the constellation displayed on the wall.


Paper Rocket

Cut a rectangular strip of paper about 5 inches long and roll it tightly around a pencil.  Tape this cylinder and remove the pencil.  Cut about 5 1/2" cuts straight into the cylinder at one end.  Insert the pencil again, and mold the cut ends around the pencil point so you form a rocket point.  Tape the rocket point with clear tape.  Remove the pencil again.  Cut four triangular shaped fins and fold over 1/4" on one edge of each.  Tape these, spaced evenly, around the lower edge of the cylinder.  Slip a straigth (non-bendable) straw inside the cylinder, point the rocket in a safe direction and launch it by blowing through the straw.


Cosmic Mobile

Cut a crescent moon and three stars from cardboard or posterboard.  Paint both sides of the moon yellow (and lightly sprinkle with glitter while still wet if desired).  Cover each star with aluminum foil.  Glue tinsel to bottom edges of each star.  Glue or tape string from each star to the moon shape.  Add a hanging string to the top of the moon and hang it in your room.






Let the children decorate a 6x18-inch strip of construction paper with all things magical. They can make stars, flowers, birthday candles, or give the wind sock a face with paper cutouts of eyes, ears, a nose and a mouth.  Cut nine, 26-inch-long crepe paper streamers and glue them to the back of the bottom edge of the paper.  Knot a 30-inch piece of string at each end and staple the knots to the tube sides to make a handle.  Hang the windsock on a porch, patio or their own rooms. Watch it ride the gentle breezes.


Flying Saucer

Decorate the bottom sides of two paper plates to look like a flying saucer.  Punch a small hole in the center of the top plate and attach a string through it, taping it securely on the eating side.  Staple the plates together around the outside and hang your flying saucer.



Pour 1/4 cup of uncooked rice in the middle of a 6" square scrap of cloth.  Put the ends of three or four 12" streamers on top of the rice.  Twist the cloth so the rice is in a tight little ball with the streamers coming out the end.  Tie it tightly with a 12" piece of string.  Play catch with them!


Space Picture

Splatter yellow paint on black construction paper.   Glue on colored aquarium gravel as an asteroid field.  Cut planets of varying size and color and glue these on to finish off the picture.


Rockets from Recyclables

Gather recylcable items such as wrapping paper tubes, foil pans, aluminum foil, empty pop cans, rubberbands, paperclips, clean tin cans of any size, boxes of any size, etc.  You can have the Cubs work individually or in groups to create their own version of space vehicle, real or imagined.  Be sure to supply them with tape, scissors, paper and markers as well.

Vinegar Rocket Launcher

You’ll need a cork with streamers thumb-tacked to it, a one-quart bottle container, ½ cup of water, ½ cup of vinegar, baking soda.

 Put one teaspoon of baking soda on a 4x4” piece of paper towel.  Roll up the paper towel and twist the ends.  Drop the paper into liquid mixture inside the bottle.  Place the cork on top and stand back and watch.  The baking soda reacts with the vinegar to produce carbon dioxide gas.  As the gas forms, pressure builds up.  Soon comes the “pop” and the rocket (cork) is launched.  Turn the bottle on its side resting across two parallel pencils so you can se the recoil in the opposite direction.  This makes a cannon.

Planet Identification

Have nine different sized and colored circles (number them 1-9) representing the nine planets posted around the room.  On each, put the scrambled letters of its name on.  Give each player a piece of paper on which to write the unscrambled names.  In addition, ask if the planet is “appropriately” sized and colored.

Rocket Ship Bank

You’ll need a potato chip can, colored paper or contact paper, glue, 3 Popsicle sticks

Remove the corrugated paper on the inside of the can.  Cover the outside with colored paper or contact paper (you may want to decorate it before attaching it to the can).  Invert the can so the plastic lid is on the bottom of the rocket for easy removal of the money.  For the nose, cut a 2 ½” circle of colored paper and remove a pie-shaped wedge.  Over-lap it and glue the ends to form a cone.  Glue the cone to the top of the rocket.  Have an adult cut a vertical coin slit near the top just under the cone.  For the rocket fins, cut three evenly spaced vertical slits about 1 ½” above the bottom of the rocket.  Insert the sticks at an angle and add glue to where the stick meets the rocket body.  Cover each stick with colored paper that’s a little wider than the Popsicle stick and glue it in place.


Outer Space Apples

Give each Cub a large apple and a supply of toothpicks.  They select any assortment of the food items listed, string them onto the toothpicks and insert the toothpicks into the apples.  Cheerios, Fruit Loops, gumdrops, raisins, dried fruit bits