Rocket Flingers – Turn a pool noodle into a fun DIY toy!
The other night, the boys found a fun flinger toy at the park. I wouldn’t let them bring it home because it looked like the type of thing that someone might come back for, but I did figure out a way that we could make one at home!
This toy is fun to fling, easy to make, and VERY inexpensive. In fact, this would make a great group project because the materials are so simple.
To shoot it, just pull back on the rubber band and let it go!
We tried shooting one without fins and discovered that the fins really do help them fly farther.
Ready to make one? Here’s what you need!
- A pool noodle – get the smallest diameter that you can find. We bought ours at Dollar Tree.
- A serrated kitchen knife – for cutting the pool noodle.
- Duct tape
- Rubber bands – small and large
- A crochet hook, or Rainbow Loom hook
- Craft foam
- Hot glue gun
- A large nail
Step 1: Use the serrated knife to slice a 12 inch section off of the pool noodle. (This will allow you to make 4 flingers from each pool noodle.)
Step 2: Find a rubber band that is wide enough to fit over the tip of the nail, and stretchy. Use the nail to poke the rubber band through the pool noodle as shown below.
The rubber band should stick out on both sides, like this:
Step 3: Loop each end of the rubber band around the pool noodle. This holds it on very securely.
Step 4: Attach a second rubber band which will be used to fling the rocket. We used a large rubber band doubled over because we found that it gave the rocket more power. Use a crochet hook or something similar to tie a knot with this rubber band around the other rubber band. (Like you’re attaching a luggage tag.)
This picture is more clear because we used a single rubber band rather than a long rubber band double over. But remember that this one doesn’t shoot as far!
Step 5: Wrap duct tape around the top of the rocket. This makes it look cool, and keeps the rubber band secure.
Step 6: Make the rocket fins out of craft foam. Our craft foam was very thin, so I used two layers glued together. I used hot glue to attach the fins, thinking that if this project worked we would use a stronger type of glue for the final version. Well, the hot glue held really well! It melts the pool noodle a little which helps it stick. If your fins fall off, try a stronger glue.
Now you’re ready to play!
It takes a little bit of practice to get the best distance out of the rocket flinger. We found that it’s important to pull back firmly and then let go without trying to push it forward. My 3 year old was too young for this, but my 5, 8, and 11 year olds have been having a great time with them! Daddy can shoot it the farthest by far, so strength is definitely a factor. All in all, a fun project!