Flying Snowmen and Santa Hats

Make flying santa hats or snowmen for a fun, festive STEM challenge! All you need is an empty milk container, paper and tape.

You’ll sometimes see this activity called a rocket mouse, as traditionally the cone is made to look like a mouse.

You can theme the paper cones however you like. Reindeers would also work well for a Christmassy feel.

empty milk container and cone shaped paper santa hat and snowman for a flying snowmen or Santa hat science experiment

You’ll need

Paper or card

Felt tip pens


Milk container



Create a cone with the paper and tape.

Place the cone on top of the milk container.

Use both hands to squeeze the milk container and watch as the cone shoots up into the air!

Why does the cone shoot into the air?

When you squeeze the bottle, the air inside is forced out through the top. The force of the air against the rocket top 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 cone will go!

Investigations to try

How can you make your snowman cone fly higher?

How can you slow down the flight of your snowman?

Can you set up an investigation to find out what happens if you use a smaller container? Which conditions do you need to keep the same?

Flying santa hats science activity instructions

More Christmas STEM Challenges

Take a look at my 24 days of science-based elf ideas!

Build a new shelf for the elf, make a zip line to rescue an elf from a tree and lots more elf STEM challenges!

Help Santa find the North Star and make a raft for the reindeer with my Santa STEM challenges!

Milk container and snowmen cones for a science activity
Image of a milk container and cones made from paper decorated to look like a snowman

Last Updated on November 14, 2022 by Emma Vanstone