Fire Cracker Favors

Subject:Cross curriculum art and math project for grades 3 to 6

Objective: Students will be able to demonstrate their understanding of a 135 degree application ( of materials when placing strips of crape paper onto toilet tissue roll.

Materials: 3 - rolls each of Red, White and Blue crape paper streamer, Elmers Glue for holding plugs, Glue Stick to apply crape paper strips, empty toilet paper tubes (number depends on students in class), metallic streamers with stars (wire wrapped with milar materials & stars. If not available use colored pipe cleaners and paste colored stars on them. These serve as the handle to pop the lids out of cracker favors) Cut these streamers into 5 to 8 inch pieces. You will need 4 or 5 to make it look like fireworks. WRAPPED candy to place inside the firecracker when completed. Clean donut or pie boxes.

Preparation: Cut all of the streamer colors into 8 inch strips. Cut circles to plug the end and also to serve as lits. You will need four plugs per cracker. To make the plugs trace the end of the tube onto this cardboard such as is found on pink or white donut boxes; Twist the metallic wire streamer wire or pipe cleaners together in bunches of 4.

Step 1: Carefully place one plug into the end of the tube approximately 1/8 of an inch from the bottom edge. Glue in place. Set aside until glue is set (approximately 1 Hour. You may wish to do this step as part of your preparation). Make sure that the plugs fit snugly as there are several sizes of toilet paper tubes. They differ in size by as much as a 32nd of an inch to a 16th of an inch. You may wish to purchase a piece of one inch dowel that is cut just the right length to hold the plugs in place so that they can be glued with ease. Remember that they must set up before you can remove the dowel if they do not fit snugly in place.
Step 2: Students should have 3 strips of each color to work with. Choose the first strip. USING A GLUE STICK, Place a small amount of glue along the bottom edge. Just enough to hold it in place, DO NOT OVER GLUE. Carefully place your first colored strip at a 135 degree angle and carefully wrap it around the tube to the top. Make sure that you have the strip at an angle because if it is not the crape paper strips will catch when handled and rip. There should be excess crape paper at both the top and bottom of the tube this will be addressed later.
Step 3: Now its time to place the rest of the strips onto the tube. Carefully overlap your next strip 1/2 the width of the first strip. Once again you apply the strip at the 135 degree angle carefully tacking it at the bottom and top. Repeat this step until you have come completely around the tube and overlapped you first strip. Try and have your last strip the same color as the first strip. If desired you may use only two colors it is up to you and your students.
Step 4:Once the students have completed placing strips around their tube it is time cover the bottom of their firecracker. Using the glue stick rub it on the bottom of the tube/plug. Carefully take one strip at a time and press it onto the bottom and around the edge to form the lip and bottom. Repeat this until all of the ends have been carefully glued down. You may need to trim the strips a little but you should be able to press them around the bottom as shown. On the top just push the ends down inside the tube. If you want you can place a small amount of glue at the ends and press then against the inside of the tube but it is not necessary. This will strengthen the bottom of your firecracker.
Step 5: Now its time to put the top plug together. Take one of your long crape paper strips and cut it in half. Carefully glue these strips one at a time onto the top of one of the three remaining plugs. carefully wrap the ends around to the bottom of the plug and glue in place. Take a second plug and carefully glue it onto the bottom. Then put a hole through the middle of the plug and push your wire star sparklers pieces through the hole. Bend this over and place the last plug over this and glue with Elmers glue to hold it together. This is the top to your firecracker favor.
Step 6: Either have the students make their own sticker or purchase stickers for the 4th of July. Place them on the fire cracker favor, put the WRAPPED candy inside and put the top plug on. Your favors are ready to go. You do not have to do the final step, however, to keep fire crackers identified by maker the stickers to help.
HELPFUL HINT:To make sure that your toilet paper tubes are clean you can use the TP for a Chromatography project and make carnations out of it. That way you are sure that all of the tubes are as clean and germ free as possible.


Suzanne Turner
last updated May 22, 1999