Eventually every parent is faced with this all important question: how to make a catapult for kids? We don’t welcome the question–it just comes to us one day when we’re wiping up spills or looking for a toy. In any case, there are many ways to go about it, but the following method has a few advantages:
- It’s completely original
- It only takes a few minutes to make
- It uses household items you already have on hand
- It’s the perfect size to play games and activities
What You Need:
- rubber band
- masking tape
What to Do:
1. Roll a section of newspaper like a log.(figure 1)
2. Secure the middle with tape. (figure 2)
3. Stretch a rubber band. Place the log of newspaper on top of it. (figure 3)
4. Loop the two ends of the rubber band to the top of the log. Pass one end of the rubber band through the other. Hold the surplus with your finger. (figure 4)
5. Stick the end of a tablespoon through the surplus rubber band. (figure 5)
6. Adjust the spoon so that its length is approximately 1/2 way through the rubber band.
7. Tape the ends of the log to your tabletop (or to a place mat so you can move it around).
8. The catapult is now complete. (figure 6)
Note- This is a starter catapult. For a Complete List of designs, see Catapult Designs for Kids
What Objects to Hurl: Cotton balls, Q-tips, cut up sponge pieces.
How to Hurl Objects: Use three or more fingers. Press down quickly on the handle of the spoon. (Tip: to hurl objects further, adjust the spoon so that the greater length is to the rounded end of the spoon.)
Games and Activities:
1. Place a bowl 6 to 12 inches away from the catapult. See how many cotton balls in a row you can shoot into the bowl.
2. Same as game one, except this time give each person ten cotton balls. Person who shoots the most into the bowl wins.
3. Make a tower using three rigatoni (log-style) noodles. See how many times it takes to knock down the tower.
(Variation: Launch half a dozen Q-tips at once.)
4. Lay a roll of masking tape its side. That’s your target. Now each person flings a cotton ball toward the target. Closest wins a point. (If you make it in the center of the roll you win three points.) First person to ten points wins.
5. Use a marker to make red freckles on three cotton balls, and
blue freckles on three others. Again lay the roll of masking tape its side. You child shoots her three, and you shoot yours. Give a point to the three closest. For example–2 for red and 1 for blue. First person to reach ten points wins.
Show me your complete list of Catapult Games.
There’s nothing like a homemade catapult for kids to stimulate lots of new activities. The activities are simple, wholesome and engaging. Best of all, the easy to make catapult has plenty of room for your child’s imagination and ingenuity. Don’t be surprised to see your child experimenting with a longer spoon, two spoons, thicker roll of newspaper, etc. Half the fun is tinkering with the design! Good luck!