Launching rockets is just plain fun. With a little imagination, your child can imagine flying into the sky and off into space. These toys provide them with a vehicle for their imagination. Not only are they fun to play with, but they also introduce them to scientific concepts in way that doesn’t feel boring and educational.
These toys provide different ways for your child to experience flight. Some launch with a jump on to a launch pad. Others use a combination of water and air pressures, and others use an engine to propel into the sky. All provide opportunities for your child to experience and explore aerodynamics and physics. Your child will learn important skills such as trial and error as they determine the best way to get their spaceship flying high.
Our Top 3 Picks
- The Original Stomp Rocket Jr. Glow
- Suitable for Preschoolers
- The Original Stomp Rocket Ultra
- Encourages Physical & Mental Activity
- 4M Water Rocket Kit
- Fun Way to Learn Physics
Toys like these fall into the category of STEM toys, short for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. They help develop scientific thinking, including reasoning and problem-solving skills. These skills lay the foundation for success in science in school, and may also spark an interest in these fields as a career.
Exploring flight is a fun solo activity for your child, but it can also provide an opportunity for your child to play with family or friends. They can be used cooperatively, or you can even encourage some friendly competition as they see who can get their rocket to fly the highest. These toys are ideal for outdoor play, giving your children a chance to get away from their screens and enjoy the sunshine. Here are the best rockets for kids and toddlers in 2018.
The Best Rockets for Kids and Toddlers Reviewed in 2018
Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Rockets on Our List
To determine the best rocket power toys, there were a few things that we took into consideration. First and foremost, the toys needed to be fun and engaging so they appeal to kids. Next, we considered ease of use, and whether it was something a child could assemble easily, and if it was more complex, if detailed directions were included. We also considered the educational aspects of each toy, and whether they further child development. Finally, we considered the safety of the toy.
Your child will enjoy the toys on this list. They allow your child to shoot rockets into the air in various ways. They are reusable, so your child will be able to enjoy them again and again. The actual height each one flies varies, depending on how it’s launched, but all will give them the experience of flight, and making things fly is just, plain fun.
The toys on this list are also easy to use. The simplest ones just attach to a tube, and your child stomps on a launchpad, sending things flying. These toys can be assembled quickly and used by your child with minimal supervision. There are also ones that use a combination of water pressure and air. These are a little more complex, and your child might need some assistance setting it up. The kits come with clear directions, though, for you and your child to follow. There are also traditional model rocket kits. These kits include detailed, step-by-step directions and diagrams for older children to follow, though they might need some assistance. Adult supervision is recommended for launching them as well.
The best rocket toys provide a fun experience, but they do more than that. They also introduce your child to important scientific ideas. Children will need to exercise their reasoning and problem solving skills as they find the best way to get the most height from each launch. They learn about trial and error, which is a fundamental part of science experiments. STEM toys like these teach children science in a way that doesn’t feel “educational.” Hands-on learning is the best way to learn and retain information. Exposing your child to science will help them academically, and it might even get them interested in a scientific or engineering career.
Safety, of course, is also critical. The rockets on this list are safe to use, though some recommend adult supervision. The simplest ones that launch by jumping on an air pad, can be used with minimal supervision. They are either made of foam or have a foam tip, which protects your child in the case of an accidental launch. Other ones that launch with water pressure or with an engine require more supervision and are geared for older children. Model rockets are designed to be launched from a distance, so your children are safely away from the small engine blast. The amount of supervision depends on the age and maturity of your child; a good rule of thumb would be to work with them through their initial launch, and once your child has a good grasp of the fundamentals, let them work with less supervision.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Which rockets are best for young children?
A: The best rockets for young children are the ones that are easiest to use and assemble. Ones that launch with just a simple launch pad that the child jumps on would be most appropriate. They are easy to use and fun. The toys on this list that utilize jumping for launch include the Original Stomp Rocket Jr. Glow, the Original Stomp Rocket Ultra, the Original Stomp Rocket Dueling, the Blast Pad Missile Launcher, the Original Geospace Jump Rocket, the Geospace Jump Rocket Mini Set, and the Air Hogs Jet Rocket.
Q: Which rockets are best for older children?
A: Older children, depending on their maturity, can try using a more complex method for launching their rockets. There are water rocket kits, which utilize water and air pressure for a higher blast off. Children age 10 and older might be ready for a model rocket kit. These need to be assembled and require an engine for lift-off. Supervision is recommended for children up to the age of 12. Water rockets on the list include the 4M Water Rocket Kit, the Stratolauncher IV Deluxe 120° Tilting Water Rocket Launcher + Stratofins Kit, and the Fly High Rocket Science Kit. Model rockets include the Estes Tandem-X Flying Model Rocket Launch Set, and the Estes Hi-Flier Flying Model Rocket Kit.
Q: Does the kit include everything I need?
A: Rockets that launch with just air pressure come with everything you need right out of the box. These kits include a launcher, rocket(s), and a launchpad. Ones that launch with air and water pressure require a bicycle pump, which is not included. They may also require a recycled soda bottle, which may not be included. The Launch! Rocket Science Kit with 18 Experiments requires additional household items. Model rockets require an engine, which is sold separately, as well as batteries for the launcher.
Q: Which rockets fly the highest?
A: Model rockets fly the highest because they require an engine. Once assembled, they can often fly as high as 1000 feet or more. Water rockets can also fly relatively high, due to being powered by a combination of water and air pressure.
Q: Can the rockets be used indoors?
A: The rockets on this list can all be used outdoors, and that’s typically the best way to really experience their height. A couple are suitable for indoor use as well, especially if you have high ceilings. The Original Stomp Rocket Jr. Glow is made of soft foam, making it safe for indoor launches. The Geospace Jump Rocket Mini Set has foam tips, which also make it safe for indoor play.
Q: How difficult is the rocket to assemble?
A: Rockets that launch with just air pressure from a launchpad are the simplest to assemble. You can just put together the launch pad and you’ll be ready for launch. Water rockets are a bit more complex, as they require a launch pad and a bicycle pump to provide air pressure. The most difficult to assemble are the model rockets. With those kits, the rockets need to be put together, then the launch pad needs to be set up in order to fire them. All kits come with clear, detailed directions, though.
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