Popsicle Stick Catapults your kids will Love to Make
Making Mini Catapults are not just great SCREEN FREE fun, but they’re dripping in STEM education. You can follow some of the plans we’ve done on the blog or see if you can come up with a totally NEW design!
Let kid’s exercise their creativity and challenge them to make any of these designs better by swapping out different building elements. What happens if you replace a binder clip with a clothes pin? Use bigger — or smaller — craft sticks? Can you use duct tape instead of hot glue?
Can you hold a catapult together with fuzzy sticks? String? Packing tape?
You’ll need a few basic craft supplies no matter which catapult you want to build. Most of these based on popsicle sticks — which you can buy new as “craft sticks.” (I don’t think you want your kid devouring a box of actual popsicles before they can start building.)
What can you Launch with a Popsicle Stick Catapult?
Just about anything small and light weight makes a great payload for your catapult.
Indoor projectiles: mini marshmallows, balls of foil, balls of paper, small candies. We don’t recommend super balls because they will just bounce away.
Outdoor projectiles: rocks. Seriously, don’t use rocks inside, m’kay?
This is the first one we built, using a design we found at the Magic House Children's Museum. Now it's all over the internet! It's a great simple machine and super easy to build. It also lacks firing power.
We made some serious improvements to the original popsicle stick catapult. Now it fires clear across the room!
This is my favorite mini catapult so far. It's still very easy to build, has firing power and is extremely sturdy. We've gotten mini marshmallows down a 20-foot hall with this baby!
This was the 2nd catapult we ever built. It takes some adult help -- you have to cut up the pool noodles, but younger kids find it quite fun. Not very strong, but good for playing a game of knock down the castle wall indoors.
This catapult works like a teeter-totter -- just slam down the lever and launch your payload.
Break away from the craft sticks and make this catapult with LEGO instead.
You can build this one out of school supplies -- since its all rubber banded together you can dismantle the catapult when you need to use the pencils.
I have no idea how sturdy this one is, but you bet we'll be testing the design soon! Made FROM marshmallows and bamboo skewers.
Honestly, this one looks a bit hard -- you'll need some workshop tools to pull this off. But it's so cool I had to include it.
King of Random
Mitch's favorite makers made an catapult that hides in an Altoid tin.