Easter Egg Rocket: An Easter STEM challenge
(This activity was originally posted on March 1, 2018. It was updated March 3, 2020 to add free printable instructions.)
Looking to add a little something extra to your Easter fun? Something extra like making a rocket?
It is actually pretty easy to set up. Ben thought it was super exciting, and Ali and Sammy got a kick out of it too. But it isn’t hard to guess that an explosion would be an exciting STEM Easter egg activity.
This is a fun science activity to do with your preschooler or toddler. Older kids will like the challenge of it too! You just need a plastic Easter egg, a toilet paper tube, and some Alka-Seltzer and you are ready for Easter egg experiments.
This one needs to be on your list of activities for Easter. It is one of the easiest plastic egg experiments, and, in my opinion, one of the best.
Here is how to make an Easter Egg Rocket.
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What's In This Post?
- Easter STEM Activities
- Easter Egg Rocket
- Free Printable Instructions
- How To Make Easter Egg Rockets
- Join the Team!
- More Easter STEM
Easter STEM Activities
I think Easter can get overlooked when it comes to STEM challenges. This could be because it comes at the end of the long string of holidays that start in October with Halloween. But there are so many great Easter science experiments out there!
This STEM activity is my personal favorite. It helps us have a super fun Easter season and it uses those plastic eggs that are lying around my house year-round for some reason. And my kids just love this one. I think your kids will too.
Easter Egg Rocket
This is one of those Easter science activities where you might actually need to use a bit of the scientific method. It isn’t just a demonstration. You and your kids can make your rocket, test it out, then tweak it for better results.
What You Need:
- Alka-Selzer Tablet
- Plastic Easter Eggs (the kind in two pieces)
- Toilet Paper Tube
- Rocket decor
1. Decorate the Rocket
First, you will want to create your rocket. This part is up to your child. They can color the toilet paper tube, add fins, or add a cone to make it look more rocket-like.
Don’t add anything too heavy though, or the rocket won’t fly.
2. Build the Rocket
Take the top part of the plastic egg (the side that is more narrow), and place it in the bottom of the toilet paper tube rocket. You want most of the egg half inside the tube. Then tape or glue the egg to the tube to hold it in place.
3. Blast Off
This part requires adult help. The explosion isn’t big, but it can be sudden and startle little ones.
Place one-fourth of an Alka-Seltzer tablet into the bottom portion of the plastic egg. Have your child add 1 tablespoon water to the egg half.
Quickly (as fast as you can, so the adult should probably do this part) stick the rocket on to the top of the egg bottom. Hold onto the egg bottom and point your rocket away from everyone.
And in a few seconds, it should launch!!
You can repeat this with more tablets, but I recommend drying out the bottom egg before each launch.
So what is going on here? Alka-Seltzer contains citric acid and sodium bicarbonate. When the water dissolves the tablet these two ingredients are able to react and form carbon dioxide. This gas is what fills the egg.
That pressure from the gas is too great for the plastic egg to stay together, so the top part with the rocket blasts off.
This is a relatively safe activity. But you are making a projectile, so use caution not to point it at anyone. Make sure your little ones know to not point it at anyone, especially anyone’s face.
Anytime you are creating a high-pressure situation, even in a plastic egg, you need to take care. Basically, use your common sense and err on the side of safety.
A Few Hints
Make sure you use an Easter egg that isn’t too hard to pull apart. (We all know those impossible eggs that just frustrate our kids. Don’t use those.)
If the reaction in the egg isn’t big enough to launch the rocket, try adding a bigger piece of Alka-Seltzer.
Finally, make sure that the whole tablespoon of water makes it into the egg. The reaction won’t be big enough without enough water.
I’m going to be really honest here, this is a true experiment. It does work, but you may need to experiment with how much Alka-Seltzer to use, how quickly to get the egg pieces together. Do you need to shake up the egg more or less? Should you try a different egg? Try it without the toilet paper tube first?
That’s what makes this so much more fun though. Your kids will love being real rocket scientists with this one.
(And if your kids get frustrated, good. That means they are learning. Check out all the valuable life lessons in the scientific method here: Deeper Than the STEM: What the Scientific Method Teaches Kids about Life)
Free Printable Instructions
- Toilet Paper Tube
- Plastic Easter Egg
- Construction Paper
How To Construct Your Rocket
Before you can make your rocket fly, you have to get it looking good! This is optional, but it makes the project more fun when you personalize it.
- Paint or color your toilet paper tube.
- Cut a circle out of construction paper, just a little bigger than the diameter of the tube.
- Make a cut in the circle to the center of the circle. Then form the circle into a cone to be the front of your rocket.
- Put a line of glue around one end of your tube. Gently place the paper cone on it and let dry.
How To Make Your Rocket Fly
This part takes some trial and error. It's a science project so that is to be expected though. Remember to keep trying.
- Take your plastic egg and tape up any holes that might be in it.
- Put the narrower end of the egg into the open end of your rocket and tape it into place.
- Take an Alka-Seltzer tablet and break it into quarters. Put a piece into the other end of the egg.
- Now it is time to act fast. Put a tablespoon of water into the bottom of the egg and quickly close up the egg.
- Hold the rocket by the bottom egg and watch it blast off!
This is a pretty safe activity, but you are creating a projectile. Make sure you never aim it at anyone's face or eyes.
Repeating the Flight
You can repeat this activity over and over. Just make sure to dry out the plastic egg in between flights. You want to use the whole reaction to make your rocket fly, and that reaction will start too soon if the egg is wet when you first put in the Alka-Seltzer.
You can experiment so much with this project. Try adding more Alka-Seltzer. Try more water. Try different eggs to see if they separate better.
Involve your children in the problem solving and adjustments you make. Ask them what they would like to change and what they predict will happen as a result.
Looking to get more fun science activities for kids? Join the Team! You also get access to my library of free printables. I can’t wait to hear from you!
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