There’s nothing like making something yourself. Here’s a fun and easy catapult for kids you can make out of household items. The sturdy construction and superior arm tension are what give this hurling machine its extraordinary power. Best of all, it only takes a few minutes to put together.
-bag of assorted rubber bands
1. Roll a section of newspaper like a log. Secure the ends and middle with tape (figure 1)
2. Repeat until you have made four newspaper logs.
3. Stack three logs together—two on the bottom, one on top. Secure with rubber bands. (Do not wrap the rubber bands too close to the ends.) (figure 2)
4. Add one more log directly on top. Secure with rubber bands. (figure 3)
5. Insert a pencil just above the bottom two logs (and below the top two logs). Pencil should be one or two inches from the end. Secure firmly with rubber bands. Pencil must not be loose or wobbly. (figure 4)
6. Wrap a rubber band around the two ends of the pencil and pull it toward you. (figure 5)
7. Insert a tablespoon in the surplus and then release the rubber band. Repeat procedure with three or four rubber bands so that spoon is held firmly in place. Be careful not to over-secure the spoon. (It must be able to bend back.) (figure 6)
8. Catapult is complete.
How to Launch Objects: Bend spoon back, insert object, release. Make adjustments to the height of the spoon for optimal performance.
What Objects to Launch: Cotton balls, fluffy end of Q-tips, cut up sponge pieces.
Good Targets: Bucket, paper towel dispenser, empty cereal box, open drawer, waste can, plant pot, sneaker, three playing cards standing in a triangle.
There’s nothing like a simple catapult design for kids to put the zest back into your day. The best part is matching your skills against another player. One easy game is simply to take turns launching stuff at a bucket and then counting the results. Of course, there’s plenty of variations on that game alone, and a long list of Other Games and activities to play. Good luck!