It’s that time again. Another catapult design for kids you can make in minutes. Whether you’re new to catapult designs, or an old pro, you’ll appreciate the simplicity of this model. Best of all, it has superior launching authority. To get started, you need a few things from around the house.
Things You Need:
What to do:
All catapults have at least one thing in common: tension. The better it’s utilized, the better the design. As you proceed, note that the rim of the oatmeal container is perfectly suited for the task.
1. Remove the contents from an oatmeal container. (The container should be cylinder shaped.)
2. With the lid off, stand container upright. (figure 1)
3. Wrap four or five rubber bands around the container, several inches beneath the top. (figure 2)
4. Insert a teaspoon beneath the “belt” of rubber bands. The tip of the handle should be just below the rubber bands. (figure 3)
5. Optional: Insert a canned good inside the oatmeal container to give the base more weight.
How to launch stuff:
Simply place your item on the cup of the teaspoon, pull back and release.
Note that the rim of the container forms a dimple that allows the spoon to bend back easily every time. (figure 4) This produces a superior arc of trajectory (45 degrees is optimal). The result: stuff flies farther.
What to launch:
Paper balls, sponge pieces, cotton balls.
Games to play:
1. Place a shoebox several feet away from the catapult. Each player takes ten turns. The person who launches a cotton ball the most times into the shoebox wins.
2. Same as game one, except this time the person who makes it into the shoebox the most times in a row wins.
3. Make a tower using an empty paper towel dispenser. The first person to knock it down wins.
4. Lay a playing card several feet away. That’s your target. The person who launches a cotton ball closest to the target scores a point. (If you make it onto the playing card you score three points.) The first person to score ten points wins.
5. Same as game four, except this time each player shoots three cotton balls. (To keep track, use a marker to put red freckles on one player’s cotton balls.) Each player launches three cotton balls. Now give a point to the three that are nearest the target. For example–2 for plain and 1 for red freckles. First person to score ten points wins.
If you’ve been wondering how to make a catapult for kids, the dimple design offers a few key advantages. On the one hand, it’s easy to make. You don’t need any special tools, just a few basic things from around the house. On the other hand, it has the one thing that everybody wants: launching power. Some variations to pursue might include changing: the size of the spoon, the number of rubber bands, the height of the container.
Best of Luck!