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A week ago we recieved an Airhogs Jet Rocket to play with over the summer. We took it out to a local park to test out and it proved to be the catalyst for a discussion about forces and cause and effect with the children.
The Airhogs Jet Rocket is a really simple but incredibly effective (and fun!) outdoor toy. It has a small launch pad that you attach the rocket to and a foot pump attached by a tube. You stomp on the footpump and the rocket zooms up. Great fun and happily the children at three and four years old and more than able to manage to set this up on their own, meaning that I got a chance to sit down and relax and just watch them play.
What I liked about the Airhogs Jet Rocket was that it took just minutes to put together – there is nothing worse that opening something up to find it’s going to take an age to put together – children really are not that patient.
We took it to the local park and set it up. The children had great fun setting the rocket off and trying to get it to zoom up as high as it did when I stomped on it. Miss E did ask why she wasn’t able to get it to fly as high as me, so we talked about how the rocket worked – the force of your foot on the pump pushes the air out and through the tube, causing the rocket to rise into the air – the harder you stomp the quicker the air is forced out of the pump and tube and the higher the rocket flies.
They both soon got the hang of it and began to understand that the lighter the touch on the foot pump, the less likely the rocket was to fly. Miss E was able to squeeze the air out of the pump slowly enough so that the rocket didn’t set off, and they realised that if they jumped onto the foot pump it meant that the rocket will fly higher.
This passed a lot of time in the park, and it attracted the attention and interest of a number of people who were walking by; asking me what it was and where we had got it from.
The children have since been playing with it in our garden, but I think it will have to stay as a park toy as the rocket did land on the roof of the extension at one point and had to be swiftly recovered by Damian!
All in all I am really impressed with the Airhogs Rocket and it’s been a good introduction to explaining forces and cause and effect to the children – who said science needs to be boring eh?