When I spotted this craft in Travis’s latest issue of Highlights, I knew it was going to be more of a mommy project. Since Highlights appeals to kids up to age 12, some of the activities inside are a bit complicated for my kindergartner. But I knew he’d love the water-powered dragonfly, which relies on hydraulics to scoop up little homemade “flies”.
To start, tint a bowl of water with blue food coloring. Use a medical oral syringe to inject water into 3 feet of air-line tubing, and then fill the syringe.
Remove the air from a second oral syringe, and insert these into the ends of the piping. I found it useful to duct tape around the connections for added security.
Use hot glue to attach two jumbo craft sticks so they overlap slightly. Glue the water-filled syringe onto one end of the craft sticks.
Next, glue the bottom half of a paper cup to the other end of the craft sticks. Although not necessary, we painted our cups green. Glue a second bottom half of a paper cup to the end of the syringe’s plunger; your two cup tops should touch.
Use washi tape or thin duct tape to secure the tubing to the end of the craft sticks, below the filled syringe. Tape a 1-foot dowel to the empty syringe and tubing, as shown.
For the finishing touch, we made a dragonfly out of cardstock, adding eyes and wings outlined in marker. Glue this onto the craft sticks above the cups.
For our “flies,” we decorated yellow pom poms with cardstock wings (cut a heart shape from white cardstock) and wiggle eyes.
Now it was time to test the hydraulics! Release the water from the first syringe. Ideally, it will power the second syringe, which powers the cup “mouth” to open.
See if you can scoop up your flies!