Isn’t it funny how sometimes the simplest of things can be the most fun? One of our Scout leaders came up with these little catapults and we’ve used them several times since then. The kids just love them. They would be perfect for birthday parties, Sunday school classes, Scout activities (obviously!), or even Homeschooling Physics lessons.
The big Scouts loved them on our camping trip
Our Cub Scouts loved them at our recent Campfire activity:
Even my little nephews and niece loved them
Surprisingly Courtlyn, my lone niece (out of a dozen boys!) was the most accurate of the group. She got pennies right in these water glasses two shots in a row. She also took great delight in building the catapults and taking them apart. 7 or 8-year-olds seemed to be able to figure them out with a little direction, but the kids younger than 6 like our little guy Wyatt seemed to need a bit more help. But I figure if they can work a Transformer, they can figure out these mini catapults with a little coaching.
Even the darn cat liked them – the nosy little bugger. Just once I’d like to be able to take a picture around here without a cat in it!
Here’s the finished version of the catapults – as you can see, it’s ridiculously simple and makes use of items you likely have around the house.
Here are the supplies you’ll need for each catapult – 7 tongue depressor-sized sticks, 1 popsicle-sized stick, a bottle cap, and four rubber bands – not too thick, not too long, just medium-sized ones. You’ll want to hot glue the bottle caps ahead of time to keep them away from little fingers.
The Step-by-Step How To:
Step 1: Build the wings – rubber band 5 sticks together for the wings using 2 of the rubber bands.
Step 2: – Attach the body of the plane with a third rubber band. You’ll want to add an extra “flip” on one side to hold the “pilot” in. Just twist the rubber band and flip it back over the stick.
Step 3: The last stick is for a spacer bar. It just rests on top of the wings to give a little extra bounce.
Step 4: The last step is to attach the “pilot”. Wind a rubber band around the end and tuck the stick under the loop you made earlier as well as tucking it under the rubber band loop at the end. You may need to scooch things around a bit to get the right set-up on it.
Aaand voila! If you give them a handful of sunflower seeds, that will give them some biodegradable ammo and give the birds something to eat. It might also keep them from chucking pebbles or other items that are likely to cause breakage. Plus, they fold up nicely to fit in your purse or glove box if you need a spur of the moment distraction.