- Games, Toys, and Hobbies»
- Toys for Kids
Build model Rockets you can fly
Fly Model Rockets
When I was a kid, building and flying model rockets was one of my favorite things to do. My friends and I spent many hours building the model rockets, then taking them to the park and flying them. The best thing about model rockets then and now, the cost.
The cost over the past 40 years has not changed that much. They are still something you can do for very little money. You can get a starter set for less than the cost of half of a video game. Estes is still the biggest and most well known of the rocket kits and already built rockets.This is a toy that I think even a lot of girls would have fun with.
Flying Model Rockets
When I was a kid, we would even make our own designs. We would start with a tube, from paper towels, or Christmas wrapping paper. We would get sheets of balsa wood for the fins, get a nose cone and make it fit the tube, put the parachute, wadding, the engine mount in, glue on the fins and we had a home made rocket that would fly. They are easy to build, and will teach you some things about flight and aerodynamics. We would sometimes use larger rocket engines than we should have. The problem with that was, we sometimes never saw the model rockets again. If they go too high and you loose site of them, you may not be able to find them.
What You Can Get
Here is a good place to see what is available. This site has a good selection of model rockets to try. You can get an 8 inch tall rocket kit, that will fly 600 feet high with a parachute to drift back to the ground, for $3.21. There is even a rocket that is 3 feet tall, that comes with a digital video camera built into the nose cone. It will take video for you as it goes up and comes down, you can watch it later to check how the flight was. Pretty cool.
There are rockets up to 6 feet long, rockets with multiple stages, that drop off as they fly, just like the real rockets that Nasa uses. There is a model rocket that has a film camera built into the nose cone, it will take still shots for you on the flight. There are rockets with twisted fins, that cause the rocket to spin as it lifts off. There is even one that is shaped like and looks like a baseball bat, it has a ball on the top of it that shoots off at the top of the flight, so you can catch the ball as it comes back to the ground.
There are rockets that have 3 or 4 stages, you can use them with 1, 2, 3, or all 4 stages if you want. Some of the rockets are plastic, some are cardboard, some have balsa wood fins, some snap together, some require glue. Some you can paint, other you don't have to. They have them separated into levels, 0 to 3, 0 being the easiest, 3 the hardest. There is a level for anyone who wants to try it. There is one that flies up to 600 feet high, then launches two shuttles that glide back to earth, as the rocket floats back on a parachute.
There is even 1 that I remember that I had, the Big Bertha, you can still get it. It's 2 feet tall flies 500 feet high, and is still only $14, I think it was about $6 40 years ago.
They even have starter sets that come with 2 rockets, a launch pad, and some other accessories for only $28.
Other Things You Need
You also need engines, wading, and igniters to launch the model rockets. The engines are about $2 each, the wading is about a nickle per launch, and the igniters are about $.50 per launch. That is all you need for a launch. Half the fun of launching them for the kids is chasing the rocket as it parachutes back to earth, to see if you can catch it before it hits the ground.
This is a fun toy, something that you can do with your kids. You can get them out into the fresh air, away from the T.V. You get to make something, then watch it fly. The kids will also learn something. Writing this has gotten me excited about doing this again. I can take my grand kids along so it looks like I'm just supervising them.