Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Curiosity Kits® Build Your Own Super Sonic Rockets

Curiosity Kits® Build Your Own Super Sonic Rockets

Fall 2014 Toys
Ages: 6 & Up
Manufacturer: The Orb Factory Ltd.
Price: $19.99

The Build Your Own Super Sonic Rockets kit contains supplies to build three rockets and a launch platform. The budding astrophysicist can select from three different shaft lengths, three different fin shapes, and three different nose shapes for a total of twenty-seven possible unique rockets. Each rigid foam nose holds a flashing LED that lights up for several seconds upon impact, an entertaining effect when rockets are launched at twilight -- or start it flashing just before liftoff to see it fly in the dark. The rocket designs and launch pad can be customized with the four sheets of included stickers to make them look even more space-age. And yes, "super sonic" is promotional copy. The package advertises that the rockets may go 100 feet, a distance we could not quite achieve in testing - yet. But we still have a number of designs left to try.

Tweaking the rocket design and launch angle turns this toy into a physics project -- which design goes the maximum distance? Why might one design be superior to another? Can we fashion other tubes or fins out of household materials and try new designs? But it doesn't have to be educational. Stomping on the launch pillow is extremely satisfying.

Emily Crawford   ©2014 Parents' Choice
Emily holds a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science from Duke University and a Master's in computer engineering from Georgia Tech. She is a homeschooling parent and lives with her husband, three children, five cats, and thousands of LEGOs in Blacksburg, Virginia.

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