This activity will make a brightly colored firecracker that can be used as a desk decoration or centerpiece. It's easy and fun to do for all ages!
1) Prepare in advance-- cut 10 x 1 1/2 inch strips of colored construction paper (red, white and blue)3 of each color per student, cut a rectangle of red paper large enough to wrap around and cover a soda can (1 per each student), cut white stars approx. 2 inches in size (6 per student), cut 4x4 inch square of black paper (1 per student), collect soda cans (1 per student)
2) Have students glue red rectangle piece around soda can to cover the can. Then have them glue the white stars on paper covered can.
3) Have students wrap multi-colored 10 x 1 1/2 " strips around their pencils one at a time to make a curl. After all strips are curled, glue the strips (alternating colors)to the top of the can, around the mouth opening, so that the curls cascade down the sides of the can. In order to fit all strips, you will need to slightly overlap the strips as you glue them down.
4) Roll black 4 x 4 inch square to form a 1 inch tube (this will be the "wick" of the firecracker) cut three 1/2 inch slits in bottom of tube and fold edges up to make a flat, 3 part base for the tube. Glue the base of the tube on top of the can, in the center over the lift tab of the can.
5) After the students have assembled the "firecracker" discuss firework safety.
** You may want to have the students add beans or rice to their can prior to beginning so that they can be used as fun "noise-makers" too.