If your young rocket engineer wants to get launching, we found a great stomp rocket set for you to encourage their dreams of flight.
The National Geographic Light Up Air Rockets Activity Set is on sale right now at Target for $13.92. (opens in new tab) That's a 30% deal from the usual price.
Stomp rockets are very easy to set up and require no extra materials besides what's in the box, which makes them great for younger kids. Older children with some building skills may enjoy our recommendations for best model rockets, which often require extra material such as engines and waddings.
Rocketry is one of the fastest-innovating fields of space exploration. Companies like SpaceX, Rocket Lab and Blue Origin build rockets that are designed to self-land, while other firms are taking advantage of 3D printing, automation and advances in composite materials to attempt to build cheaper rockets.
So when it comes to encouraging budding engineers to pursue fields in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), stomp rockets like this kit allow kids to quickly get hooked on the trials of launching, landing and turning the kit around to do so again. Frankly, flying never gets old, even for experienced adults.
National Geographic Light Up Air Rockets Activity Set:
$19.89 $13.82 at Target (opens in new tab)
This stomp rocket allows kids to use 3 LED-equipped air rockets to send their space dreams soaring into the air. The kit includes an easy-to-assemble base and a learning guide that will get your rocket flying more than 100 feet (30 meters) into the air.
The kit from National Geographic has everything that you need in the box. You'll get 3 LED-equipped air rockets, which is great if you have multiple kids impatient to take turns launching their space missions. The rockets won't actually go that high, but they do go an impressive 100 feet (30 meters) up in the air using air.
STEM learning is a feature of the kit, as it also includes an easy-to-assemble launch base (great for building those engineering skills) along with a learning guide to show kids the basics of rocketry. You'll learn about trajectories, flight paths and other basic aspects of sending these sleek vehicles aloft.
We have a detailed guide at Space.com on how rockets work. The basics for kids to understand is that rockets must generate thrust with a controlled explosion. While this kit uses air, usually rockets use a fuel and an oxidant and get off the ground using chemistry. As gases get pushed out the rocket's tail end, called a nozzle, the high-pressure gas allows the rocket to overcome Earth's gravity and rise in the air.
The kit is rated for children ages 6 and older. Users report that the kits are highly durable and can be set up in minutes, which makes them fun to tote along to a local park or on a camping trip. The LEDs will make the rockets easier to spot when they come down, especially if you're working in somewhat rugged terrain.
Stomp rockets are a fun activity for socially distanced gatherings, or to get your kids outside when the weather is nice. But do buy quickly when you see a deal. These are always popular gifts for the holiday season, and the supply chain is a little wonky with the pandemic. So we recommend you blast off into the deal as soon as you can.