"Daaaaad, we're bored!"
Ever heard this coming from the back yard? Instructables to the rescue.
I had seen stomp rockets on the site before, and had them in the back of my mind for a while as a project for the kids. When I decided to actually make some rockets and a launcher, I realised that I had the stuff on hand to do a quick 5 minute build while the kids watched. Watch Dad make stuff, and play with rockets! Double the entertainment!
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Step 1: Gather Tools and Materials.
1. Ordinary garden hose, 12mm.
2. I've found the 1.5 litre plastic bottle to work the best, but any size bottle of this type seems to work OK.
3. I used two types of tape because I had them, the wide tape on the rocket and the smaller stuff on the hose, but the wide stuff will do both jobs.
5. And the secret ingredient? An empty aluminium cigar tube. This is where time has been saved on this project. Using a pre-made tube for the rocket eliminates construction time.
Step 2: Launcher Construction.
1. Cut the garden hose to length. Mine is about 1 metre long which is good for me, but a little long for the kids. Measure your child!
2. Wrap tape around one end of the hose until it becomes a tight push fit in the neck of the bottle. I used the pvc electrical tape for speed and convenience, but wider tape (of any type) will do. Taping the hose to the bottle neck would probably make the launcher a bit stronger, but having a push fit makes it very easy to change the bottle when it's had enough stomping and a new one is required.
3. Wrap tape around the other end of the hose until it becomes a smooth slip fit inside the cigar tube.
Step 3: Rocket Construction.
1. Tear/cut off about 100mm of wide (duct/duck/gaffer/whatever) tape.
2. Carefully fold it in half (sticky side in), leaving small flaps at the end. This is a tail fin.
3. Stick the tail fin to the base of the cigar tube.
4. Do this two more times and space the fins as evenly as you can.
5. Trim the fins to a triangular shape with the scissors.
Step 4: Lift Off.
Find a place to launch. Point. Stomp.
The kids' first shots...a bit feeble. Dad: "Stand back kids...I'll show you!" Straight on the roof.
Retrieve rocket and go to park.
Kids' subsequent shots....nice. Dad: "Stand back kids...I'll show you!" 39 metres!
The kids get 15 to 20 metres easily, and I had to make more rockets while waiting for the original to fall out of a tree. Awesome fun.
Blow through the hose to re-inflate the bottle between launches, or pull the hose out and do it if you find it easier.
You probably shouldn't point this at somebody's head, but I don't think it would hurt too much. It's all good fun until someone loses an eye :D