I'm taking a step back from the electronics and reliving my earlier years with an instructable on match rockets. I did not create these, i'm just sharing the idea. These provided hours of fun for me and my friends. Best of all, they are simple, and practically free to build. But as is obvious from the title, these use matches and are rockets, so they do deal in fire. Because of this, a precautionary statement is needed:
WARNING: Match rockets involve fire, and because of that, adult superviosion is required when young children are using the rockets. Always use common sense, and be safe when playing with fire. Always assemble and lauch the match rockets outdoors.
Step 1: Materials
With that out of the way, lets get to it. The first step is to obtain the materials. You will need:
Sheet of aluminum foil (Any size will do)
Box of kitcen matches (Large matches with the wooden sticks work the best)
Piece of wire (about 3 inches in length. You want something thin but rigid. A straightened paperclip works)
Optional: Gas grill lighter
Step 2: Build the Launch Stand
First, bend the wire into a shape as shown. A wide, steady base is needed, and when place on the ground, a stright peice a little more than 1/4 inch long has to be pointed at about a 45 degree angle. This is going to be the launch stand.
Step 3: Prepare the Matches
Using the scissors, cut the match head off as close to the lighting material as possible. Be careful not to chip the material off when doing this, since it is the match head we want. You can prepare multiple matches at once so you have plently of match heads availabe.
Step 4: Cut the Aluminum Foil
This step isnt very critical. You want a peice about 3/4 inch by 3/4 inch, roughly square. But the exact demensions and size aren't very important.
Step 5: Build the Rocket
Refer to the pictures for more specific instructions, or watch the video below. To see a video of the launch, go to the last step.
Step 6: Launch It!
Other suggestions: The rockets can be used for games as well. My friends and I used to see whose rocket would launch the furthest, as well as set up targets, like a coffee can lying on its side, and see who could get the most rockets to shoot into the can in a certain amount of launches. Just don't use anything living as a target, such as another person, because the rockets can be scalding hot after a lunch, and lead to burns. The launch stand can also heat up, so be careful when handling it.
Congratulations on the completion of your Match Rocket!
Below is a video of the launch. The rocket traveled about 5 feet.