A geodesic dome makes a great playhouse for children. Rolled up newspapers make an inexpensive and remarkably strong building material for a such a house. Children love to crawl into the basic newspaper framework, or you may cover the dome with a sheet to make it more of a hideout. You can also cover the triangles of the dome framework with sheets of coloured tissue paper to create a rainbow-coloured fantasy house.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Masking tape
- Bed sheet
- Tissue paper
- Glue stick
Stack three sheets of newspaper and roll them up diagonally, starting with one corner. Wrap masking tape around the centre of the tube to hold it together. Make 65 tubes this way.
Cut 35 tubes 71cm long. Cut the excess paper from both ends of the tube. Keep the sturdy centre of the tube and cut off the floppy ends. Cut the rest of the tubes 66cm long. in the same way. Tape 10 long tubes together end-to-end to from a ring. This is the base of the dome.
Tape one end of a long tube to each end of one of the tubes in the base ring. Bring the other ends of these tubes together above the base tube. Tape these ends together to form a triangle. Tape one end of a short tube to each end of the next tube in the base ring. Tape the ends of these tubes together to make another triangle. Use long tubes to make a triangle over the next base tube. Alternate long and short-tube triangles all the way around the ring. There will be 10 triangles.
Tape a short tube between the top of two adjacent triangles, by taping one end to the point of one triangle and the other end to the point of the next triangle. Connect the tops of all the triangles this way. This will form another ring of 10 short tubes. It will also bring the triangles toward the centre of the dome, creating the dome shape.
Stand in the centre of the dome and tape the ends of two long tubes to the right end of one tube in the top ring. Tape the end of a short tube to the left end. Move around the ring, alternately taping on two long tubes or one short tube at each junction of the ring.
Tape together the loose end of a short tube with the loose end of a long tube from either side of it. This will form a new triangle on each side of the short tube. Continue doing this around the ring, forming a ring of 10 new triangles.
Tape one end of five long tubes together, forming a star shape. Tape a long tube between the ends of each of the points of the star, making a pentagon with a star in the centre. This is the top of the dome. Tape it over the hole in the top of the dome by attaching the corners of the pentagon to the junctions of the short and long tubes on the top row of triangles.
Cover the dome with a bed sheet to make a roof and walls. You can also glue large triangles of tissue paper over the triangles of the frame to create coloured windows.
Tips and warnings
- Stand outside the dome to attach the top.
- It is easiest to put glue around a single triangle of the frame, spread the uncut sheet of tissue paper over it and then cut off the excess paper. Cover as many triangles as you desire.
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