Rockets for a 3 year old

OK, I got myself in a slight pickle.
I promised my 3 year old I'd take him to see rockets - in March. Well, he
doesn't want to see rockets (at Cape Kennedy) in March, he wants them
*now*.
So I sort of figured I can get some very, very basic model rockets.
Something a 3 year old can play with.
ISTR some pump-up plastic rockets (you pump it up with a hand pump, then
fire it from a tube). That's the level I'm looking for. Basic, simple,
and cheap. Something you can take to the beach and fire at will.
I played with Estes as a kid; never really got into it (living in NYC
limited our play space). I'm most emphatically *not* looking for anything
that burns; I want something so basic a 3 year old with above average
coordination but probably below average attention span can put together,
launch, and recover.
Perhaps if this works, we can graduate to "real" model rockets.
Thanks,
--Kamus
Reply to
Kamus of Kadizhar
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Since you mentioned the beach :)
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-Boomer
Reply to
Boomer
} OK, I got myself in a slight pickle. } } I promised my 3 year old I'd take him to see rockets - in March. Well, he } doesn't want to see rockets (at Cape Kennedy) in March, he wants them } *now*. } } So I sort of figured I can get some very, very basic model rockets. } Something a 3 year old can play with. } } ISTR some pump-up plastic rockets (you pump it up with a hand pump, then } fire it from a tube). That's the level I'm looking for. Basic, simple, } and cheap. Something you can take to the beach and fire at will. } } I played with Estes as a kid; never really got into it (living in NYC } limited our play space). I'm most emphatically *not* looking for anything } that burns; I want something so basic a 3 year old with above average } coordination but probably below average attention span can put together, } launch, and recover. } } Perhaps if this works, we can graduate to "real" model rockets. } } Thanks, } } --Kamus
Ages 10 and up, but he'd enjoy watching them:
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Others, but nothing down to age 3:
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This looks like maybe closest to what you're after:
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I recommend getting one of the better ones above to show him, and then a Nerf Rocket Launcher to play, I MEAN PRACTICE, with. I had one and I loved it.
OK, my kids had one, and I loved it.
Reply to
Doktor DynaSoar
If you do decide to do a estes/quest type rocket with your little one, there is an article I wrote in our club newsletter on how I build and flew a model with my 2.5 yr old. Go to:
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and download the 2002 May/June Issue.
Kamus of Kadizhar wrote:
Reply to
Norm Dziedzic
Stomp Rockets! Slide plastic rocket over tube, jump on air bladder. Air is forced into tube, popping rocket off launcher.
-Kevin
Reply to
Kevin Trojanowski
Estes DOES make an air pump rocket, or at least i've seen em last week in hobby stores
Reply to
tater schuld
Hi Kamus,
here's an extremely low-cost, low-risk, high-fun alternative:
ANTACID ROCKETS!
The rockets are made out of paper and a plastic canister that you get when you buy a roll of 35mm film for your camera. Just follow this link:
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And if your paper modelling skills are good, here's an air-propelled rocket that you can print out and build. Great for indoor rocketry!
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Dwayne
Reply to
Dwayne Surdu-Miller
Frankly, i think one of those hand-held water rockets in the hands of a 3-year old is an accident waiting to happen. 3-y olds just don't have the coordination or one-handed strength to point such a rocket in an appropriate direction at the same time they are pulling (usually stiff) trigger mechanism.
The stomp rockets are better, but a 3-y old's mass doesn't make for much in the way of stomping power, and the kids are a bit prone to falling over in their enthusiastic attempts to "jump harder"...
The pump and launch stand based air and water rockets (like the estes air hog rocket, or the nerf rocket launcher) actually work pretty well, with a bit of supervision. They tend to contain devices designed to make sure they are launched only when pointing upward, which a 3-y won't understand very well, leading to some frustration, but it makes them relatively safe unless they manage to hang their bodies directly over the launcher (which they WILL, given a chance. Even "safe" toys need a bit of supervision.) Kids can probably pump them up enough to get SOME flight, and will be impressed at how strong dad or big brother is, and how high the rocket goes with THEM pumping it up... :-)
A 3-y old is well capable of "helping" dad build an estes-style or high power sized rocket (they can at least pour paint on it...), and appreciating a real model rocket launch, even with its attendent safety rules, as long as it doesn't drag out for too long. Bigger rockets are better, but actual HPR motors are likely to be too noisy for most of them... fly with a club, and there's lots of spectating to do in between your own launches.
Finally, there are interesting things you can do with staws, tape for nose and fins, and perhaps an ear syringe. And these "rocket balloons" work pretty well too:
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(however, don't forget that balloons are currently villified as one of the most dangerous toys commonly given to small children. Several kids a year manage to suffocate on balloons or balloon pieces that they get stuck in their respiratory system, and the balloon pieces tend to be soft enough that they're difficult to get out via standard first aid procedures. While many small toys are restricted to children over three years of age, I've seen suggestions that balloons are only for kids over 8. I think it's a bit ridiculous. Using a pump for inflation rather than the mouth probably helps a lot...)
BillW
Reply to
Bill Westfield

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