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Backyard Rocket Launcher

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Make your own rocket launcher for your backyard. These 'rockets' will go up to 20 ft in the air. The power for these rockets comes from the gas created by combining two common items.

For Parents: Be sure to supervise your children for this activity. The film canister explodes out of the launcher with enough force to cause an injury if kids are looking into the launcher.


1.styro foam plate

2.toilet paper tube markers tape

3.white camera film canister vinegar and baking soda or alka-seltzer tablets


rocket launcher

Use the markers to make a design on the toilet paper tube (rocket launcher).

Tape the rocket launcher to the center of the plate.

Put the rocket fuel in the film canister (see note below).

Quickly put the lid on the canister, and drop it into the launcher, lid side down.


Rocket will launch (usually 10-20 seconds).

Be sure to wait at least a minute before checking on the rocket if it doesn't launch.

Rocket Fuel

Vinegar and Baking Soda - put 1 tbsp of vinegar in the film canister. Hold it near the launcher and add 1/2 tsp baking soda. Quickly snap the lid on and drop into the launcher lid side down.

Alka-seltzer - Put 1 tbsp. water into the film canister. Add 1/2 an alka-seltzer tablet and quickly snap on the lid. Drop into the launcher, lid side down.

Note: White camera film canisters work best due to how the lid snaps on. Results may not be as good with other types of canisters.

Warning: Parents, be sure to supervise your children when they are launching rockets!


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