How to Make an Airplane Model for School With Waste Products

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Refashioning household leftovers like cardboard and plastic bottles into something new is a wonderful way to teach children spatial relations, and it helps encourage them to recycle, as well! Creating a display piece such as an airplane model can be accomplished with a little imagination and a few simple school-appropriate tools.

How to Make an Airplane Model for School With Waste Products
(Adam Korst/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard tube from a paper towel roll
  • Small cardboard box
  • Clear plastic bottle
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Crayons or paint
Step 1

Cut off the top and bottom of a plastic bottle. Begin your cut at the top of the label -- if it has one -- or where the molded shape begins to taper.

Adam Korst/Demand Media
Step 2

Glue the top to one end of a paper towel roll and the bottom to the other end of the roll. You can remove the cap if you want a more aerodynamic plane, or leave it on for an additional place to color.

Adam Korst/Demand Media
Step 3

Draw two wings out on the sides your cardboard box; cut these out and glue them directly onto the fuselage. Remember to let the glue dry prior to any attempted “flight”.

Adam Korst/Demand Media
Step 4

Use the discarded cardboard to create a single tailfin which goes just ahead of the plastic bottle bottom “engine”. The tailfin should be roughly one sixth to one quarter of the wing size.

Adam Korst/Demand Media
Step 5

Draw or paint your own customization on the aircraft. It is best to use paints as you will likely want flames for your engine and as well as a design for your fuselage, nose cap, and tailfin. Crayons are a good alternative for younger children.

Adam Korst/Demand Media

References

  • Fun With Recycling: 50 Great Things for Kids to Make from Junk; Marion Elliot; 2001
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