- Value: 17/20
- Functionality: 19/20
- Quality/Ease of Use: 19/20
- Packability: 15/20
- Fun for Kids: 20/20
- TOTAL: 90/100
Getting kids socializing right now is tricky. Pediatricians (and, um, parents) know it’s excruciatingly important. But if you’ve ever tried to keep two 6-year-olds from tackling/hugging/sharing the same the water bottle, you know staying six feet away is pretty much lost on the elementary school set.
I had always been a fan of the Stomp Rocket brand. For the uninitiated, it’s a plastic, air-filled projectile launcher that you jump on, in order to shoot a foam rocket up to 200 feet in the sky. (Or so says the product description; I had never had much success getting it more than about 20 feet up.) The OG version is fun for sure, but the tripod it sits on is flimsy, and it’s definitely a one-kid-at-a-time endeavor.
So, when my son started getting invited on socially distanced outdoor playdates, I knew we had to take our situation up a notch, and I knew we needed an activity the kids could do together without actually coming into physical contact. The dueling stomp-rocket fits the bill.
In this incarnation, there are two air-filled stomp pads, which can be spread out to be about four feet away from each other on the ground. The kit also comes with two sets of different colored rockets. So, each kid can load their rocket, and then on the count of three STOMP to see whose can go higher, then run to grab their own rockets (without touching the other ones). Sounds simple right? You guys: I have literally watched my children play this game for upwards of two hours.
Fun challenges include: Trying to hit Mom with a rocket (don’t worry it’s basically impossible to hurt yourself on one of these things), trying to get a rocket stuck in a tree, trying to get a stuck rocket out of a tree using another rocket, and trying to shoot your rocket directly into a trash can. All of which is to say, these rockets can take quite a beating, and overall, I’m impressed with the durability of design. (Far easier to set up and reuse than the non-dueling version.) After time, some of our rockets have torn and been rendered un-stompable. But fear not: You can order replacements on Amazon.