Turning a bottle into an airplane provides your child with a new toy, while teaching him about shapes and developing his fine motor skills. It also helps keep our environment cleaner by reusing plastic that would otherwise be trashed. Once he masters this technique, encourage him to think about other items that could be made from a bottle, such as a rocket ship or a submarine.
Things You'll Need
- Plastic water bottle
- Bottle caps
- Masking tape
- Scrap paper
- White glue
Cut the bottom off a plastic water bottle. This is a good opportunity to decide on the size of your plane. If you'd like it longer, just cut the very bottom. If you'd like it shorter, cut an additional 2 or 3 inches off the bottom.
Use cardboard to create the wings. Draw one long piece about 12 inches long that spans from one wing to the other, so that each wing measures 5 inches. Cut out of heavy cardboard. Make a slit in the middle of the plastic bottle. Push the cardboard wings through the slit so that each wing juts out evenly. Wrap masking tape around the bottle to add additional support to the wings.
Cut a 5-inch long rectangle from the cardboard to form the bottom of the tail. Make a slit across the bottom of the bottle and slide the cardboard into it. Wrap masking tape around the bottom to support the wing. Cut another 5-inch rectangle out of cardboard. Trim the top 3 inches of the rectangle to resemble a fin. Make a slit about one inch from the bottom of the bottle, on what will be the top side of the airplane. Slide the cardboard into it so that the fin sticks up. Wrap masking tape to support it.
Use masking tape to tape two bottle caps together. This will be the front landing gear. Tape together six bottle caps. They will form the back landing gear. Use masking tape to attach them to the bottom of the plane. Stuff crumbled paper in the open neck of the bottle to close it. Stuff more crumbled paper in the bottom of the bottle to close it. You have now created the body of the plane.
Mix together three parts white glue to one part water. Dip strips of paper into the mixture and then apply the strips to the plane. Apply at least two or three layers of paper to the entire plane, including tail, wings, fuselage and landing gear. Let the layers dry for 24 hours, and then paint and decorate.