We store up our cardboard egg cartons during the winter to use in the spring for starting our seeds for our garden. However, this year we were given some little peat pots from a friend. Therefore, we have quite a few extra egg cartons lying around. And around here, if anything lays around for too long it will be used in a craft of some sort! The first craft an egg carton has found its way into … this AWESOME egg carton helicopter!
There is a neat and very simple Science activity for kids that shows (in a very simplified version) how a helicopter propeller spins. You simply cut a long rectangle of paper, cut half way down the middle the long way, and attach a paper clip to the bottom. Drop it and it spins like crazy! This is a fun science activity in itself, truthfully. My Sam had a lot of fun dropping down the paper helicopters and watching them spin. We played around with them, making shorter arms, thicker arms, little ones, and big ones – to see how changing the shape of the helicopter changed the spin. Then we decided to kick it up a notch.
With egg cartons on the brain, it didn’t take me long to realize that two egg holders stuck together would look an awful lot like a helicopter …. and so … we did!
To make an Egg Carton Helicopter
First of all, make a paper helicopter, just like the one outlined above. We used a piece of 8.5 x 11 paper, and cut an approximate one inch strip off of the long (11 inch) side. Then, I cut down the middle, half way. Finally I trimmed the tail, so the final shape looks like a ‘Y’.
Next, we painted and decorated to cardboard egg carton cups. Then I cut a slit in the top of each one.
Finally, I put the tail of the paper helicopter through one egg carton cup, and then through the second, creating a helicopter-ish (sort of … kind of) shape. I secured the tail to the bottom egg carton cup with a tiny piece of tape.
The trick with this egg carton helicopter is figuring out the size of paper helicopter you need for the weight of the egg carton. I held up all of the egg carton containers we had and chose the lightest. You could also play with using construction paper for the paper helicopter part to make the propeller a bit stronger, if need be. Another idea, which may be the simplest, is to only use one egg carton … this would reduce the weight considerably.
And then, perch your child on top of a high ledge —- the higher the better — (I’m kidding!) And let them play! My little guy, who just so happened to be a tiger today, had a great time making his helicopter, but an even better time playing with it! He dropped it from high spots, low spots, threw it, you name it! And he was learning all the while.
This egg carton helicopter was remarkably sturdy. It held up to everything thrown it’s way … or rather, everything it was thrown at.
A great way to reuse before you recycle!
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