activity space helmet costume

Plastic Bottle Space Helmet

Boldly recycle and go where no preschooler has gone before! This DIY costume takes your child’s creativity and small motor skills into orbit.

WATCH OUT!

Be sure to wash your plastic container and dry it thoroughly before beginning. And remember, the more materials you choose to work with, the messier your area will be. Cover up accordingly!

MATERIALS - click to buy
  1. Clean and dry gallon-sized, plastic bottle with handle. We recycle our gallon water bottles like these on Amazon or white, bleach bottles like the ones found here. Milk gallon bottles that are washed thoroughly can work too.
  2. Sharp scissors - for adults only!
  3. Masking tape - Use your choice of colored masking tape, like purple found here or plain crepe masking tape like this.
  4. Intriguing decorations such as colorful glitter, preschooler-friendly big crayons, seasonal stickers, grosgrain ribbon in lots of colors, spare fabric and construction paper scraps. Grab whatever strikes your fancy.
  5. Disappearing glue sticks like these or Aleene’s quick drying glue - Either type of glue works well for attaching decorative bits to plastic. Check out our Materials guide for more glue guidance and sourcing.
HOW TO
  1. Skilly Spark: Let’s talk about astronauts. They have exciting times way up high in outer space. Because they are so far from the earth’s air, they have to wear special clothing called space suits to protect them. (If you'd like to learn and share why, here's NASA's site describing what a space suit is.)  Another thing they must wear is a special hat called a helmet. Now take a look at this plastic bottle. Do you think we can make a space helmet with it? If you could, how would you decorate them? What would you like them to look like?   
  2. Adults, it time to make the helmet's shape. You can do so the day or night before if it's more convenient for you. Now, to create the helmet’s bottom, cut away the entire bottom of the bottle. We find it’s easiest to start on a bottom’s corner as it’s already bent. Don’t worry if it’s perfectly cut or even, that’s part of the fun!
  3. Then, you'll create an opening for your child's face. With the handle side facing the back, about three-quarters way up from the bottom, cut a rectangle or circle shape on the front of the bottle.   
  4. Try the helmet on your child’s head to be sure the face opening is large enough. If necessary, cut it a bit more to make it larger, higher or wider.
  5. To protect your young space explorer from scratchy, cut edges, cover them masking tape. Take your tape, place one half on one side, then fold it over the other side, so that it covers all potentially pricklies.
  6. Now let your child choose the decorations they want to use-- anything at all that captures your child’s imagination! If you’re child wants to make another kind of helmet that isn’t meant for space, go for it!  This is also a great opportunity to discuss their materials' shapes, colors and differences in size. Why and how does fit your child’s vision? Don’t forget, the handle and bottle top can be decorated, too!
  7. When your child is satisfied with their helmet, let it dry as necessary. Ready? Let's go on an imaginary trip!

 

Keep the fun going
  • These simple helmets are a fun starting place for making an original costume for holidays and everyday. If your preschooler is feeling inspired, they can create a Paper Bag Vest to match!
  • The sky’s the limit! What other kind of helmets can you imagine? How about your favorite animal, superhero or science fiction character?  
 

Thanks/photo credit goes to wrongsideoftheart.com’s still of the 1953 science fiction film, Robot Monster.