Friday, 4 January 2013

Make Your Own Flying Saucer

Today, I decided that we would make our own flying saucers. I was following instructions I had found in a brilliant publication called 501 Tv Free Activities For Kids.

We needed a paper plate and a paper cup each. I didn't have paper cups but I decided that plastic ones would do.

They children had fun decorating their flying saucer first, with felt-tip pens.

Sebastian did his alien green:

Francesca drew a family of three happy, smiling aliens. How does she know with such certainty what aliens look like?!

Elizabeth coloured the night sky onto hers.

We had to cut flaps round the edge of the plate and fold them, one up, one down. Then stick the cup into the middle of the plate, by cutting off the top half and snipping round the top to make flaps to stick with tape onto the plate (are you following?!)

Here's are the flying saucers in action:

And the finished products. Not sure why the girls look so glum. I suppose it's a serious business, launching a flying saucer.

They didn't fly very well, actually. I think the design spec was somewhat lacking. I might Google it and see if we can find a better design. Francesca's worked best, with the longer, narrower flaps. Maybe our cups weren't central enough, or maybe the flaps needed to be more evenly spaced.

Anyway, making them was fun and the girls enjoyed flinging them down the stairs.


  1. Sounds like another project where you make saucers with different shape flaps, some with no flaps at all like a Frisbee and some with very obvious flaps like F's version. I don't think the weight of cup or being central would be significant. Height of cup might interfere?

  2. When we used to make 'helicopters', we just dropped them and watched them spin down, so accuracy wasn't needed. If you want something to fly (up) when you launch it I guess the design is more important. Maybe need to be symmetrical to fly straight, but there must be a particular design that creates 'lift'?