Kids Review Stomp Rocket Stunt Planes
“Whoa — these planes go far!”
Cathleen Drake Nelson · 5 days ago
Photos by the author
“What if we hit it out of the tree with a stick?”
“Don’t throw a stick at me! I’m in this tree!”
“I’m good at aiming. Don’t worry.”
Isn’t it great when a parenting fail turns into a STEM project all its own? Your kids could be motivated to climb trees, launch projectiles in various parabolic curves, and communicate effectively, all in order to dislodge their Stomp Rocket Stunt Planes from tree branches. These planes are that fun.
You might be wondering how we got to this moment.
My kids had played with the original Stomp Rockets and loved them for years, so when this box with the latest Stomp Rockets arrived, the 10- and 13-year-old had mixed feelings.
“I don’t know,” the 13-year-old said. “We’ve done these.”
Would these airplane-shaped Stomp Rockets be demonstrably different? Would they — could they — should they still be as epic as the originals?
Never fear. As soon as they read the plane descriptions, the kids were all in: “The Looper: Does Giant Loops.” “The Glider: Glides Over 100 Feet.” “The Wildcat: Flips, Turns, & Soars.”
“This actually looks fun!” said the 13-year-old.
New shape. Same epicness.
We knew better than to launch something that glides over 100 feet in our backyard — we’d lost many a remote-controlled airplane or drone into the unknown that way — so we hopped on bikes and headed to the park.
In addition to the box, my husband and I brought a measuring tape, stopwatch, yarn, and scissors. We wanted to confirm any “over 100 feet” glides with an independent evaluation.
Not included: The tools of independent journalistic rigor.
Set up is simple, so within a couple minutes of unpacking and connecting...
...the 10-year-old followed the directions — and ran!
Photos by the author
And watched as The Glider soared across the field.
“No way!” she yelled.
“That’s awesome!” said her brother. “Let’s change the launch angle!”
“Hold on, I’m trying another one ... I’m just going to push it up a little bit, and see what happens ... WHOA!”
After she'd tried a couple more variations in launch angle, it was the 13-year-old’s turn.
“Let’s do this!” He grabbed a plane.
(If I’d paid attention to the plane he was setting up, I might’ve thought to move the launch site.)
The 13-year-old knew what to do. He ran.
He watched in wonder as The Wildcat zoomed toward the field, looped spectacularly up in the air ... and flew straight and true, right into the branches of a crape myrtle tree.
“The Wildcat,” temporarily out of reach.
“Oh no!” he and his sister cried.
“I knew that would happen!” my husband gloated. I had argued that we could stay in the shade and launch the planes into the center of the field. It was hot.
But I stayed cool. “It’s okay. It’s not that tall a tree.”
True to its name, The Wildcat flies in unpredictable loops and twists, sometimes changing directions completely. Add to that the variability of wind conditions, and, as we learned, you should be far from trees of any height.
Clearly, these kids know a thing or two about fetching toys from tree branches.
After quite a few sticks thrown, branches shaken, and directives yelled back and forth, we were back in action.
“That didn’t take too long,” I encouraged.
“I’m going to the middle of the field,” the 13-year-old announced.
With empty field on all sides, it was game on.
Before long, our biggest challenge was how to make sure each kid got to try out all possible variations in trajectory, wind, force, and aerodynamics (the four experimental variables outlined in the included directions), before the other kid’s turn.
After about two hours (!) of non-stop play, our reviewers gave Stomp Rocket Stunt Planes two enthusiastic thumbs up.
“They go really far and do some incredible maneuvers,” said the 13-year old. “It was awesome to try out variations and see what they could do when you made small changes.”
“They’re AWESOME!” said the 10-year-old. “I can’t wait to show my friends.”
Which they did, in our backyard, and had a blast — that is, until The Glider landed in the neighbor’s viburnum bush.
But hey: Fetching planes out of trees is good exercise too!
A few weeks later, the kids are still big fans of their Stunt Planes. They use The Looper in the backyard, and save the longer-range planes for the ultimate running, stomping, and sky-gazing experience — in the park.
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