Thursday, July 2, 2009

Paper "Fireworks"

I hope all the Canadians had a good Canada Day yesterday, and I wish all our American friends a happy 4th of July in a couple of days.

I have a simple craft that my children and I have done the last couple of years - we made paper fireworks. It isn't a true lasting handi-craft, but I think it is worthwhile as it is something that they do get to use, if only for a day...

You will need (for each one):
  • 2 straws - of DIFFERENT diameters. (see test below)
  • paper
  • tape
Test straws - Take the 2 straws, and put the smaller one inside the larger one. put the big straw in your mouth, and blow a quick blast of air (pointing upwards) - the small straw should shoot up into the air. If this doesn't work, you will need to find a different combination of straws.

  1. Trim the smaller straw if it is longer than the bigger diameter straw - if it is poking out the bottom when done, younger children will tend to blow on it instead of the bigger straw.
  2. take a small piece of paper and cut a fringe in it by making parallel cuts up to, but not quite to the edge. You only need a couple of cm of paper (an inch or so.) (Note that if you have too much paper on the straw, it will not shoot into the air very well.)
  3. Roll the paper on the small diameter straw so the fringe is hanging off the end - tape to the straw. bend out the fringe in various angles.
To Use: Put the small straw inside the bigger straw, so the fringe (fireworks) is poking out the top. Blow quickly on the bottom of the bigger straw, and the fireworks will shoot up out of the straw and fall to the ground.

Note that with smaller children, there will tend to be some spit in their blowing, so after a while it doesn't work anymore. I don't have an immediate sollution - I think it works ok again once it all dries out - but that is usually after the need to use the fireworks is over. You may want to make a few of these for them.

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