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Friday, August 24, 2012

Fun Jar Friday #17: Bottle Rocket Shooter

Today's Fun Jar Friday

Bottle Rocket Shooter
+4 more Fun Jar Activities
Guess what?  I have more PVC for you!  This one I found in Family Fun Magazine (love that magazine by the way).  For those of you who are sick of my PVC activities, I promise next week there will be no PVC!  But for this week, I have a great activity for your leftover pieces of PVC.  

Here is what you will need for the bottle rocket

Plastic report cover (.50 at Walmart)
Electrical tape
3 pieces of 1/2 inch diameter PVC at 12 inches
1 piece of 1/2 inch diameter PVC at 10 inches
1 piece of 1/2 inch diameter PVC at about 2 inches
2-1/2 inch PVC end caps
1-1/2 inch PVC cross fitting
1-1/2 inch PVC 45 degree elbow
4x1.5 inch piece of craft foam
plastic wrap
2 liter bottle


We'll make the rocket first.  Just so you know, one folder can easily make 3 or 4 rockets.  To start off, cut a piece of the report cover 9x5 inches.  Place a piece of electrical tape along one of the longer sides.  Make it hang partly over the side, tape side up.  Starting with the side with no tape, roll the report cover around a piece of PVC and fastening it with the tape when you reach the other side.  Slide the cover off the PVC.


Pinch together one end of the tube and cut a rounded tip.  
Attach a piece of electrical tape over the tip as shown.


Now cut two pieces of report cover at 2x4 inches (the inside flap works great for this.)  
Cut both pieces in half along the diagonal so that you have 4 triangles.  
Attach the 4 triangles evenly to the rocket tube, taping both sides. 


Now, fold the piece of craft foam loosely over the rocket nose and tape down.  
This creates a padded tip for your rocket, making it a bit safer.  
And now your rocket is done!


Next off, the launcher.  Place the end caps on the ends of two of the 12 inch lengths.  On the other ends, wrap a piece of plastic wrap.  My end caps are colorful because I borrowed them from our marshmallow guns.


Stick the plastic wrap ends in opposite sides of the cross fitting.  The remaining 12 inch length goes in one of the cross fitting ends and the 2 inch length goes in the other.  Attach the elbow to the 2 inch length and the 10 inch length goes in the other side of the elbow.  When you are done, it will look like this:


Now, slide the open end of the 12 inch length into the mouth of the bottle and tape it on tightly.  And your launcher is finished.  On a side note, have you had this cherry limeade drink? It's terrible.  I now know why it was only .84.  I was more than happy to dump it and crush the bottle!


Now take your launcher outside.  Give yourself plenty of flying room because
 it gets some good distance.  The rocket goes on the end pointing up.  


Now all you have to do is give the bottle a good stomp and watch the rocket fly!


To reinflate the bottle, simply blow into the PVC end that you put the rocket on.  
Now go have fun!  Take it out front and you will be the hit of the neighborhood!


Now For 4 More Fun Jar Activities!


#1 Make Freezer Jam
Kids love peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches.  That's a given.  But do you know what they love better than PB&J?  PB&J's with jelly they made themselves!  Freezer jam is delicious, incredibly easy and cheap.  Once you've made it, you'll never go back!

You Will Need

 1 lb of fresh fruit, crushed
2/3 cup sugar
Packet of Instant Pectin
Freezer Jar
1 Tbsp of lemon juice if using peaches

Stir sugar and pectin in a bowl.  Add fruit and stir fro three minutes.  Pour jam into jars and let sit for 30 minutes.  Place lid on and put in freezer.  Note:  when making peach jam, stir peaches, sugar and lemon juice in first and let sit for 10 minutes.  Then add the pectin gradually and stir for 3 minutes.  

To use, remove from freezer 15 minutes before use.


#2 Go to a Bounce House
I don't add a lot of commercial places in my fun jar that you have to pay for, but the bounce house is kind of a must for our fun jar.  They are cheap fun.  For a couple of bucks, your kids can run around and play all day getting every ounce of energy out.  While you sit back and sip a soda or whatever relaxing treat you might find.  Do an online search for bounce places in your area.  I'm sure you will find one.  One of our traditions when we go to a bounce place is to get a  licorice rope. You know, the ones you used to get at the skating rink or the drive in movies?  Watching my kids nibble on that 3 foot long rope just brings back all sorts of happy memories of being a kid!


#3 Build a Butterfly Feeder
I wish we would have pulled this one earlier in the summer.  You know, when there were more butterflies around.  Oh well, there are still a few out there.  To make a butterfly feeder, you need a dish.  We used a terra cotta plate.  If it is cracked, simply seal it with a line of hot glue.  You are going to fill it with nectar which is 1 part sugar to 4 parts water.  heat on the stove until sugar is dissolved.  Now you get to go hunting for over ripe fruit.  Either search for some in the bottom of your fridges fruit drawer, or if you have fruit trees, grab some fruit that has fallen from the tree.  Cut the fruit up into big enough pieces to sit above the nectar.  This give the butterflies something to sit on while they eat.  We added a few brightly colored flowers to attract the butterflies.   Place the dish in a shady spot and wait for the butterflies to feast!  Bonus activity:  Take pictures of the butterflies that land in your feeder and look up what they are called on the Internet.


#4  Kool-Aid Tie-Dye Tees
This one might simply be for the experience than the practicality, but I wanted to try it anyway. The word on the street is that Kool-aid doesn't really take to cotton well and washes out after the first wash.  I haven't tried washing them yet so I can't tell you my experience, but I will let you know as soon as I do.  

Update:  I washed the shirts and yep, they came out almost as white as when I bought them.  So I am considering this a fun jar fail.  Tie dye is still a great fun jar activity, just purchase the dyes intended for clothing.  

Here's what you need
t-shirt
Kool-aid (two or more packets for every color)
vinegar
bowls
rubber bands
plastic gloves or plastic bags

In each dish, mix one ounce of vinegar with one packet of Kool-aid.  This makes very little dye, so you will need at least two depending on the size of your shirt and how much you want dyed.  Mix until all the Kool-aid is dissolved.

Roll, twist or fold up your shirt, tying it up tightly with rubber bands.  Dip your shirt into the dye.  Experiment with different colors and designs.  Different folds make different designs.  My designs were both made by folding the shirt twice and rolling it up tightly.  I dipped each end in a different color.  The one with white, the dyes did not meet in the middle but the striped one did.  

Here is a warning I urge you not to take lightly.  Wear gloves when dying the shirts!  If you don't not only will it stain your hands, but your fingers will taste like something unholy.  And every time you touch your mouth, your mouth will taste like something unholy.  As will your food and anything else you touch.  I did not follow these directions thinking I could handle red hands for awhile.  But now, not only am I typing this will hands the color of tomatoes, but I am cursed to be reminded of my laziness every time I eat.  Hopefully I am not doomed for the remainder of my existence.

Keep the shirt rolled for several hours and then unroll and let air dry for 24 hours.  Toss it in the dryer on high and maybe even iron it.  Different tutorials say to do either in order to set the dye, but I say why not do both just to give it some extra stick.  After that, well, we'll see if the color stays or not.  Like I said, it's more for the experience.  You know, to get out there and do something with your kids!

Until next time, Tiffany


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