Encourage kids to explore the world beyond our solar system with a model rocket. Old-school model rockets came with an element of danger, requiring users to mix up dangerous propellents to get the rocket off the ground. Today's versions are much safer, using lightweight materials and simple motors to send rockets soaring as high as 1,500 feet. Starter kits for kids come with a launcher and launch pad, a rocket or two, and enough motors and supplies to cover your first couple of launches. Most of these materials can be reused over and over by simply adding new motors, which you can find at toy and hobby shops [source: Heren]. Who knows -- a simple model rocket might just launch a child on a path to a career in physics, astronomy or engineering.