I love it when we can sneak a science experiment into our play time! Mitch and I have been messing around with popsicle stick catapults lately and it’s been so freakin’ fun.
Design an Easy Catapult with craft sticks, a spoon and rubbers bands
We first ran into this popsicle stick catapult design at the Magic House maker workshop. The idea is pretty simple and there’s lots of variations. Try out a few and run some tests to see which one works best–like our Spoon-a-pult 2.0!
This design is easy and the spoon holds your projectile pretty well. It only takes 3 rubber bands, which is especially handy if you’re rummaging through your junk draw to find crafting supplies.
- Craft sticks (they also come in cool colors)
- Rubber bands
- Foil (makes great ammo)
- Your hands!
- Take 5 sticks and stack them, securing one end with a rubber band. You'll need to wrap the rubber band around several times to make it nice and secure.
- Slide one more stick between the bottom stick and the rest of the stack.
- Secure the other end with a rubber band.
- Place the spoon on top, and attach the end of the spoon to the end of the single stick with the last rubber band.
Crumpled balls of foil and small marshmallows make excellent projectiles for this style of catapult.
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Tada! That was easy!
Make Projectiles for Your Catapult
You can experiment with different kinds of projectiles for your popsicle catapult–really anything that can fit on the spoon will work. Mitch and I tested all kinds of things–wads of paper, super balls, foam balls, foil balls or rocks (if you’re outside).
Because this is meant to be an indoor project, I recommend making aluminum foil balls. They have just the right amount of weight to travel far, aren’t round enough to roll under the couch and won’t hurt anything that accidentally gets in the way.
Marshmallows are also great for catapult flinging!
Mitch and I made a little video if you want to see how it’s built and little demo at the end. Enjoy!
This catapult has a lot of upward thrust–not a very good distance shooter. It’s great for younger kids to build because it’s so very simple.
Build a BETTER Catapult
Mitch and I have been working on improving our catapult designs — check out the Binder-a-Pult 2000 with a range of 20 feet!
Make it Bigger with Pool Noodles
Mitch and I also made a super easy catapult from pool noodles! This contraption is pretty cool for little kids to make and because the pool noodles are so flexible it doesn’t throw anything very hard. Perfect for indoor play once summer is over!