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.
Things You'll Need
Cardboard tube from a paper towel roll
Small cardboard box
Clear plastic bottle
Crayons or paint
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
When coloring your plane, you can include a history lesson by drawing, for example, the tiger face of the P-40 Warhawk and explaining it to the other students.
Discarded water bottles usually fit better than soda bottles and are easier to color.