It happens to all of us sometime or other. We’re about to throw away an empty egg carton, and we say to ourselves: I know I can use this for some project, I’m just not sure what. You’re in luck, especially if you’ve ever considered how to build a catapult for kids. The empty egg carton serves as the ideal base for an easy to make catapult.
What You Need:
-empty egg carton
What to Do:
1. Cut the egg carton in half. A cardboard carton works best, but you can also use styrofoam. (figure 1)
2. Stuff each socket with a ball of newspaper in order to reinforce the base of your catapult. (figure 2) Now close the lid and secure the carton with a rubber band. (figure 3)
3. Wrap two or more rubber bands (depending on the size/ strength) around the base of the carton, just below the opening in the middle. (figure 4)
4. Tape a rubber band to the end of the handle on a teaspoon. (figure 5.1) and (figure 5.2)
5. Insert the handle of the spoon beneath the rubber bands you wrapped around the base in step 3. (figure 6)
7. Now take the rubber band you taped to the handle of the spoon in step 4 and stretch it straight up and over the spoon and wrap it around the back of the carton. (figure 7) and (figure 8)
8. Now wrap two or more rubber bands (depending on the size/ strength) around the base of the carton, just above the opening in the middle. (figure 9)
9. Attach a “leash” to the spoon (not too tightly) by securing a rubber band between the the spoon and the top of the egg carton. Use tape as necessary. This “leash” will enable the catapult to launch objects on an arc instead of a line drive. Adjust tightness of leash to achieve optimal results. (figure 10 and 11)
10. Your catapult is now complete. (figure 11)
How to launch objects:
Pull back spoon. Insert small object. Point catapult in preferred direction, then release.
Objects to launch:
Paper balls, cut up sponge pieces, styrofoam balls, cotton balls, etc.
Games to play:
-Use a bucket or salad bowl for a target. Give each player ten objects and see who can make the most into the bucket. If objects are uniform, keep track by coloring them with a marker (for example: red for player one/ blue for player two).
-One player keeps launching objects at the bucket until three in a row are made. Now count how many objects were used. The next player does the same thing. The player who used the fewest objects wins.
-Place a coin on the floor. Each player launches five objects, trying to get as close to the coin as possible. Give points to the three closest objects. For example, two points for player one, and one point for player two. Keep playing until one player reaches eleven points.
Once you know how to build a catapult for kids, there’s an endless variety of games you can play and invent. Keep in mind that because your child was part of the building process, she will have a greater willingness to tinker with the mechanical design. Don’t be surprised in a few days if your child has taken complete ownership of the mechanical engineering behind the catapult.
Q: This egg carton design seems tricky. Do you have a more simple catapult design for kids?
Q: Do you have other designs?
A: Yes. All the catapult designs on this site are listed right here:
Catapult Designs for Kids