Flying Elf Hats

These flying elf hats are great fun for younger children in the run-up to Christmas. They are quick and easy to set up but keep kids busy for a long time. All you need is an empty milk container, green and red paper and tape.

The same activity is often called rocket mouse, as traditionally, the cone is made to look like a mouse, not an elf hat.

You’ll need

Green and red paper or card


Milk container – clean and empty


Felt tip pens


Create a cone with the paper and tape. I added some stripes to mine and a small pom pom to make it look like an elf hat.

Place the elf hat cone on top of the milk container.

Use both hands to squeeze the milk container. The elf hat will shoot into the air!

an empty milk jug and a paper cone made to look like an elf hat for an elf themed science challenge

Why does the elf hat fly?

When you squeeze the bottle, the air inside is forced out through the top. The force of the air against the elf hat cone sends it shooting upwards. The harder you push the sides of the bottle together, the greater the force of the air leaving the bottle, and the higher the elf hat will fly!

Investigations to try

Add a bigger pom pom to the top of the hat. Does it fly as high?

Can you get the hat to land on your head?

What happens if you use a bigger or smaller hat?

More elf experiment ideas

If you like this idea, you’ll love my other elf investigations! Make frost appear on the side of a can, a rainbow of colour appear in water and lots more cheeky elf experiments!

Don’t forget to check out my 24 easy elf science ideas too!

Last Updated on November 30, 2022 by Emma Vanstone