Random ramblings and TV-inspired activities

Friday, 7 October 2011

Space rocket

I am, or was, a self-confessed control freak. Then kids happened and blew all that out of the water. I like plans. I like things happening to plan.

In some respects, the toddler and I are alike in that. She likes plans, and doesn't always understand that plans can't happen because mummy's been a bit impetuous in suggesting going swimming without first checking that the pools have any public swimming sessions on a Saturday morning. Not that she respects my plans any the better for all that, with her outrageously ill-timed nappy requirements etc... I swear sometimes the pair of them gang up on me. ("In the doctors waiting room for 10 minutes? Can we both manage pooey-bums before Mummy's called in? I bet we can!")

Some days, I indulge myself in the delusion that I give off the impression of being a rational, cool, kind and patient person, who would never ever get stressed or shout, but maintaining that illusion in the face of, say, random and unreasonable dashes for freedom in the middle of Tesco is a challenge. It's a white-knuckle ride, this child-raising lark.

So, with escape artistry at one end of the spectrum, I am learning to take many things in my stride. Or even to side-step them altogether. Such things like arguing blue is orange, for instance. One person's inaccuracy is another person's interpretation: that's why this Hamsternaut rocket is blue. (We've watched so much Baby Jake I can't believe it was even an area of contention, but there it is.)

Relinquishing control is liberating in some ways, except when your fingers look like you've been doing unpleasant things to a Smurf afterwards. Crayola Washable Paints may be washable, but they take a heck of a lot of scrubbing to remove from skin... Please guys, can you work on that formula? My baby looks like an extra from Braveheart.

Anyway, the rocket, right?

1 squash bottle
Some card
Some foil
Some masking tape
Some clear plastic (optional)
Some paper
Some flame-coloured tissue paper

(These are the precise measurements I know you're coming to expect from me...)

Start by cutting out 3 fins for the rocket. I cut them in the sort of 'fat scythe' shape, with a tab at the end for glueing to the body. To make attaching it easier, I cut the tab halfway down so that the top half can fold left and attach and the bottom half can fold right. I used glue and sellotape to attach it.

Next, cover the rocket in papier mache. I used newspaper for a couple of layers, let it dry, and then did a final layer of plain white for better paint coverage.

Then, paint rocket the colour of your choice!

I made portholes by cutting rings out of card and covering them in foil. I then drew hamsters on plain paper, and stuck clear plastic over the top. I then glued the foil ring over the top of the plastic.

Next, stick portholes onto rocket.

Add detail of metal panels and bolts in felt tip pen.

Cover base of rocket with foil.

Colour masking tape in with felt tip and wrap around base of rocket to secure fiol in place. Wrap small bits around fin-tips for extra detail.

Add tissue paper flames.

Hang from cotton, attach to ceiling!

I also made some stars and a moon out of card, and covered those in foil before threading them onto some cotton and attaching to the ceiling around the rocket. Everybody's starry-eyed! (Any excuse for a gratuitous link to a song...)


  1. That's brilliant - I have a toddler who loves baby Jake, so we will have to give it a go.

  2. Ooh, I love it! Well done :)

    Agree completely about the control thing, btw!

  3. That looks brilliant. I bet your little girl was thrilled with it.

  4. Thanks! It's a hit so far, she even likes going to bed to "look at my stars and rocket". :)

  5. Cool Rocket! Will show this to DS's nursery as they are doing 'space' this month :)