Explore all the craters on the moon's surface by making a Lunar Rover for kids. The original Apollo Lunar Rover was an electric vehicle used by the astronauts on Apollo missions 15, 16 and 17 to travel across the moon's rough terrain, according to David R. Williams of NASA. Children can make their own Lunar Rover model by repurposing an old shoebox. Observe the real rover and recreate its large tires, seats and satellite dish from cardboard for pretend play or as addition to a space collection.
Things You'll Need
Sports drink cap
Black construction paper
4-inch tall (approx.) cardboard box, such as that used to hold an aspirin bottle
White card stock
White play dough
Orange spray paint
Trace a sports drink cap, approximately 3 inches wide, onto black construction paper four times with a pencil to form the large rover's tires. Cut them out with scissors. Younger children can use safety scissors.
Remove the lid of a shoebox and set aside. Glue the construction paper tires to the four corners of the shoebox. Place them onto the bottom corners of each long side of the box. Allow them to dry completely.
Draw a line between the tires on the shoebox roughly 2 inches from the bottom of the box to form the frame of the vehicle. Add the line on the short sides and the long sides of the box. Cut along this line and around each tire using sharp scissors or a craft knife. An adult may need to perform this task.
Paint the entire leftover exterior of the shoebox with white paint. Leave the tires black. Glue a 4-inch box closed to form the base of the seats. Paint it white. Allow it to dry.
Cut out two rectangles that are approximately 4 inches tall and 2 inches wide on white card stock to craft the seats. Fold them in half lengthwise so they look like "L" shapes. Glue the bottom side of card stock rectangles onto the painted box side-by-side so the folded card stock looks like vehicle seats. Glue the painted box in the center of one end of the shoebox, with the seats facing forward.
Shape white play dough into a 1-inch cube. Glue it between the seats as the computer controller. Spray paint the parasol part of cocktail umbrella, both inside and outside, using orange paint to create the satellite dish. Allow it to dry.
Open up the umbrella and gently pull the shade into the opposite direction so it looks like a satellite dish. Tape the bottom of the umbrella's handle to the inside of the front left corner of the vehicle.
Repurpose any old containers around the house to form your Lunar Rover. Shape play dough or modeling clay into astronauts for pretend play. Collect sports drink tops and paint them black to create the tires instead of paper.