You have children come to stay and the nearest thing you have for a play item is your collection of crystal champagne flutes. Don't panic. You can, at a stroke, keep them quiet for ages making and playing with flying saucers. These little flying discs may cause mayhem with glassware and other breakables so you may have reason to put them away. If you eat cereal, or anything that comes in a cardboard packet, have a pair of scissors of any size and an elastic band you can do this. Things to colour with are good, too, but not essential.
- Cardboard - cereal packets are ideal
- pencil for design
- crayons or felt tipped pens for decoration
- something circular to act as a template (Pringles tube top, small drinking glass, crystal champagne flute etc.)
- elastic band (or several, this makes a good team game) for propulsion
- If using recycled card (e.g. from a cereal box) lay it plain side up.
- Put the circular item on the card and draw round it with the pencil. You can make several in quick succession so draw the circles quite close together to maximise the use of the card.
- Decorate the circles you have drawn to look like a flying saucer or in any other way that takes your fancy.
- Cut out the discs 1.
- Cut a small v shaped notch in the edge of the card slightly wider than the elastic band you are going to use to fly it with.
Flying the Saucers
Imagine the flying saucer is a clock face. Six is closest to you and 12 is furthest away. If you are right handed the notch you have cut should be where the three would be.
Put one end of the elastic band in the notch and hold this in place with the finger and thumb of one hand. Keeping the flying saucer horizontal, aim the imaginary 12 on the clock towards what you are trying to hit. Use the other hand to stretch the elastic band towards the direction you want the flying saucer to fly.
Let go of the flying saucer. (But not the elastic band!) And obviously take care not to aim the discs at anyone.
Flying saucer target practice.
- Take yesterday's newspaper (or even older if there is one around) and open it out fully. Take a full sheet and cut a big hole in the middle of it.
- Suspend the paper from something that allows the hole to be clear of obstructions. The lintel of a door frame is good, but not flat against a door or wall or the flying saucer will bounce straight back.
- See if you can fly your saucers through the hole. As your aim gets better cut a smaller hole in another sheet. You can develop this to the point where you could have different sized holes in the same sheet and give each hole a score. The bigger the hole the lower the score2.
Alternatives for targets include cutting holes in a big cardboard box (used for largish items such as found outside supermarkets etc.). If you are inclined to decorate the box to look like a space station, all the better!