Next time you find yourself at a truck stop, break out your Swiss Army knife and scour the shelves for inspiration. Any big interstate station worth its weight in ­diesel will offer a bizarre and fascinating assortment of consumer goods that can be molded into kid-­dazzling shapes. I recently visited one outside of Austin, Texas, with 11-year-old Luc (on loan from his parents). After doing a quick recon, we decided that an Apollo Saturn V moon rocket was the way to go. Be nice to the clerk, you will need a favor. Build time is about an hour.

Materials: 1 Peashooter 2 Plastic cap for oversize pencil 3 Black Sharpie 4 Stainless steel shot glass 5 Stainless steel thermos 6 Three sheets of white printer paper begged from clerk 7 American flag cut from a made in usa label on a dish towel 8 Lid for 16-ounce coffee 9 Two stainless steel beer cozies 10 Red pencil 11 Letters from a cardboard book 12 Twelve plastic single-serving creamer cups 13 Krazy Glue 14 Black electrical tape 15 Silver duct tape 16 Number 2 pencil 17 Swiss Army knife

Materials: 1 Peashooter 2 Plastic cap for oversize pencil 3 Black Sharpie 4 Stainless steel shot glass 5 Stainless steel thermos 6 Three sheets of white printer paper begged from clerk 7 American flag cut from a made in usa label on a dish towel 8 Lid for 16-ounce coffee 9 Two stainless steel beer cozies 10 Red pencil 11 Letters from a cardboard book 12 Twelve plastic single-serving creamer cups 13 Krazy Glue 14 Black electrical tape 15 Silver duct tape 16 Number 2 pencil 17 Swiss Army knifeDan Winters

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Build Your Own Model Rocket From Fround Truck-Stop Items