Make a milk carton car

Make a milk carton car

Teach your children about the value of recycling by making this balloon-powered milk-mobile together. Once you have finished this recycled craft is also a great science activity for kids. 

What you need:

  • 1 x empty 300ml milk carton
  • 4 x plastic milk carton lids
  • Masking tape
  • 1 x bamboo skewer
  • 1 x plastic drinking straw
  • Scissors
  • 1 x metal skewer (to punch holes in your wheels)

Number of players:
1 +


Watch the video tutorial below to find out how to make your balloon-powered milk carton car.

First measure up your bambooo skewers. These will form part of the axles.  They need to be long enough to go across the base of the milk carton and fit into two plastic lid wheels on either side. So line up the two wheels on either side of the carton and cut two pieces of bamboo skewer that will fit.

The straws will allow the skewer axles to spin. They should be cut a bit shorter than the base-width of the milk carton.  Cut two lengths.

Now thread your bamboo skewer axles into each straw.

Now you need to make holes in the centre of each plastic lid wheel. The easiest way to do this is for an adult to heat the tip of a metal skewer and then use it to melt a hole through the centre of each plastic lid.

Put your plastic wheels onto your axels. Make sure they're nice and snug. If you like, you can put a dab of craft glue on to keep them secure.

Tape the straw axles to the base of the milk carton.

Now loosely tape a balloon to the top of the carton.

Blow it up a bit (not too much or your milk-mobile will just be toppled over by the force). Let it go, watch it shoot across the floor.

You might need to do a bit of trial and error to work out how much force the car needs to just tottle along rather than be blown over. This will be a good learning activity one the nature of forces.


  • Thanks to our sister company Kidspot Australia for creating the instructional video.

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