Gets kids outside and moving
Fun for adults, too
Easy to set up
Foam rockets are safe
Base isn’t sturdy
Foam rockets are easy to lose
Foam fins are easy to rip off the rocket
There really is nothing like screen-free fresh air to help kids get their wiggles out. Whether you’re looking for toys for the backyard or the park, there is no shortage of products geared for outdoor learning. The Stomp Rocket Jr. Glow Rocket is one such toy that’s earned awards and accolades from parenting magazines and other media. We recently gave this STEM toy (which stands for science, technology, engineering, and math) to our kids to see if it’s as educational as it is entertaining.
Design: One issue
The Stomp Rocket Jr. Glow Rocket includes a bellow-like plastic “blast pad” launcher with a 38-inch vinyl air hose that’s screwed onto to a standing base, and herein lies the toy’s major design flaw. There are three separate pieces that need to be attached together to form the base, and we found that they couldn’t stay put long enough to last even one stomp. Our DIY hack? Regular household tape, which kept the base pieces together.
Once we figured out the base issue, our two kids (ages 21 months and 3.5 years old) had a blast hopping on the bright magenta “pillow.” Though the manufacturer claims that the rockets can fly “up to 100 feet,” our 3-year-old (who’s a bit on the petite side) managed to launch it about 50 feet high with a good jump. You’ll want to make sure there’s plenty of clearance if the toy will be used by older kids, as the lightweight rockets can easily get stuck in a tree or on a roof with the slightest breeze.
The foam rockets are very soft, so they won’t do much damage if they hit anyone below the neck. Although the manufacturer notes that the toy is good for indoor and outdoor play, we really only recommend the latter, as we had a few close calls with our TV and other objects. Our kids were also inclined to rip the fins off the rockets, but we found that they were still able to fly high up in the air despite their missing parts.
Entertainment Value: A stomping good time
There’s a good 30 to 45 minutes worth of “ooohs!,” “wheeees!,” and “whooooaaas!” to be had with the Stomp Rocket, especially among two kids and a supervising adult. Given that the set includes four foam rockets, there’s plenty of opportunity for turn-taking and playing fetch, so kids will no doubt get their fair share of physical activity.
There’s a good 30 to 45 minutes worth of ‘ooohs!,’ ‘wheeees!,’ and ‘whooooaaas!’ to be had with the Stomp Rocket, especially among two kids and a supervising adult.
Since the rockets can easily be launched into oblivion (aka a tall tree or a rooftop, as we quickly experienced), the fact that the company offers a three-pack of extra rockets ($7.99) helps to extend the lifetime of this toy.
Educational Value: What goes up must come down
The toy’s STEM claims may be a stretch for younger kids who really only care to launch the rockets high up in the sky, but that’s not to say don’t understand the concept of gravity and air force. We were thrilled to see our older kid teach his younger sister the relationship between their jumping power and the rocket’s height, though they didn’t care much for aiming it in any particular direction.
The toy’s STEM claims may be a stretch for younger kids who really only care to launch the rockets high up in the sky.
We can see how children 4 and up would be more engaged in learning how varying air pressure and trajectory affects the rockets. Either way, kids of all ages will still have a blast.
See more of the best science toys that’ll keep kids learning.
Age Range: 3 and up
While the manufacturer notes that the toy is ideal for ages 3 and up, anyone who can deliver a good stomp can have fun. Our 21-month old enjoyed playing too, though she quickly lost interest as she’s not coordinated enough yet to jump with the necessary force.
Ease of Cleaning: Round up the rockets
So long as you’re not launching the rockets onto a roof or 100 feet away, the Stomp Rocket Jr. Glow Rocket is easy to clean up. Should they get dirty, the foam and plastic pieces are easy to wipe off or rinse in water.
So long as you’re not launching the rockets onto a roof or 100 feet away, the Stomp Rocket Jr. Glow Rocket is easy to clean up.
At $16 MSRP, the Stomp Rocket Jr. Glow Rocket packs in plenty of fun for a very reasonable penny. Even if you end up needing to buy the extra pack of rockets, you’re spending less than $25 on a toy that’ll last for at least a summer.
Competition: More options for older kids
The company makes several other sets geared towards older kids that can launch foam planes and rockets from 150 to 400 feet, so keep those in mind for children ages 5 and up. Duckura, a competitor with much less name recognition, also makes a foam rocket launcher toy ($10 MSRP) that appears to have a much better-designed base.
Jump on it!
The affordable, portable Stomp Rocket Jr. Glow Rocket is the ideal toy to take on family outings, whether to a local park or camping. It will keep kids and grown-ups alike entertained for a good 30 minutes; just keep in mind that the foam rockets are lightweight and thus easy to launch into oblivion.
- Product Name Jr. Glow Rocket
- Product Brand Stomp Rocket
- UPC 795516200050
- Price $16.00
- Weight 14.1 oz.
- Product Dimensions 8.25 x 3.25 x 11.5 in.
- Manufacturer Recommended Age Range 3+
- What’s Included 1 stomp launcher and 4 foam rockets