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Build a tipi from
a newspaper

30 minutes

Boring, isn’t it, when your mum and dad spend all Saturday reading the paper? Here’s something you can do about it: get up extra early, get the newspaper from the doormat, and use it to make a tipi. But how do you turn a floppy newspaper into a strong tipi?



Step 6

Folding rolls
Open up three pages of the newspaper and place them one on top of the other. Take one long side, and fold it 0.5 centimetres. Fold this edge another two times. This makes it easier to roll up the newspaper.

Roll up the newspaper as tightly as possible and put sticky tape around both ends.

Make eight rolls in this way. These rolls will be the poles for your tipi.

Step 7

Making poles
The rolls will not yet be long enough for building a tipi, so you need to link up two newspaper rolls together.

Take two newspaper rolls. Make one end of one of the rolls flat and twist it so that you have a point. Insert the point into the other roll and use the tape to stick the two rolls together.

Step 8

Strengthen the poles
You now have a long pole, but it’s not very strong yet. So you need to strengthen the connecting part.

At the point where you have stuck the two newspaper rolls together, tightly roll a page that has been double folded breadthways around the newspaper rolls. Stick the page to both ends.

Make at least four of these poles.

Step 9

Putting the tipi together and adding the ‘covers’
Put three of the poles vertically onto the floor and hold them in front of you. Use your hand to hold the top and move the bottom of the poles into the shape of a tipi. Use an elastic band or a piece of string to tie up the tops of the poles. Use the rest of the newspaper to ‘cover’ the tent.

Use the fourth newspaper roll to tie the poles at the bottom – this will give you a strong triangular construction.


What did you discover

A newspaper page is very floppy, but by folding it in a certain way you can create a strong shape. Round shapes are very strong, which is why the bones in your body with a supporting function are also round in shape.

Look at your thigh bones or the bones in you upper arms, for example. This is also applied when building bridges. Cable-stayed bridges like the Erasmusbrug in Rotterdam often have steel cables. Steel is very strong, but the shape of the cable – a cylinder – makes it much stronger.