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.
The rocket flingers are lightweight and safe inside or outside.
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!
Damien Apr 18, 2015
This is awesome. I was about to throw out our old pool noodles but this is a great idea!
Jane Apr 19, 2015
What a great project. Can't wait to try this now that the weather here is looking up. Thanks for sharing!
Janice Legler May 2, 2015
You can find great and colorful elastics that would probably be perfect for this at Staples around the file folders isle. They are file folder elastic bands.
I have also made flinger toys using zip ties to hold in a washer to which the elastic is attached, and pipe insulation at Lowe's that was cut it into roughly 10 inch sections. With these "rockets" you stretch elastic from the back, hold the front, and let them fly. Left over pipe insulation can be used as "light sabers" or "nun-chucks."
My grandsons LOVED these toys, and they were made for a Ninja Turtle Birthday Party--inexpensive party favors that were definitely a hit!
Nina Lewis Jun 25, 2015
I love, love, love this idea!! I have put this on my list of activities to do at our family reunion with our kids and grandkids at the end of July.
I have a link party that I am trying to grow. I invite you to share this idea (and a couple of others) at my Grandma Ideas Sharing Time link up at http://grandmaideas.com. I think my readers would LOVE this idea as much as I do.
My linkup is open Wednesday through Friday at midnight. I hope to see you there!
All the best,
Kari Jun 26, 2015
We took a trip to the dollar store so we could make these ($3.00 total spent-$1 each for noodle, rubber bands, duct tape, we already had craft foam and E6000 glue).
We had all 4 made in just a short time, and then the fun started as we started launching them around. The fins were a must as the rockets only made it an unimpressive couple of feet without. I scored a notch in the noodle with a scissors and fitted the gluey fin in the groove.
We'll be taking these along when older siblings are playing outdoor sports as they are sure to entertain all the younger siblings (AKA sometimes unwilling tag-a-longs). If they get lost, damaged, or gifted they can easily be replaced.
Sarah Jul 1, 2015
That's great! We also used ours at soccer practice. The notch in the noodle is a great idea - I'll have to try that! Thanks for commenting!
Fiona May 25, 2016
A HUGE thank for sharing this post. I'm so excited I'm making these with a group of homeschool children tomorrow. I've been waiting to make these as I've been waiting on an order from china for the pool noodles, as it's nearly winter here (Australia) and impossible to buy them in the shop. Plus it was super cheap buying them from China. I've made my sample and it works REALLY well so I just know the kids will love them. With winter approaching it will be a good indoor game since they are made of foam.
Alyssa Apr 26, 2017
This is awesome. I am featuring this with a link on my blog.
Charlice Eedu Jun 25, 2017
Thank you for sharing this with us. Often times, I just throw these things away although I don't consider that a waste since I have exhausted what was previous useful -- in my eyes -- and that is what matters most.
Adissa Abaaba Sep 26, 2017
This is a nice project to fill up the leisure time or during the holidays. Thanks for coming up with this creative flinger. I hope there isn't any length requirement for this to fly high
cm Jul 8, 2019
Found this four years later. Thanks for making this dad's sleepover awesome.
RC Jun 2, 2020
My kids enjoyed a lot doing this project.Thanks for posting😀
Roger L Singleton Jul 13, 2021
Church boys loved doing this! I used a slotted screwdriver to make holes and push rubber band through. Glue sticks held the foam pieces together and hot glue works great
Michelle Jul 2, 2022
Can't wait to make these for my granddaughters
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