Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Homemade Catapult

Marshmallow Catapult

These types of launchers and catapults are as much fun to make as they are to use. Once the children have made one they'll begin to see the components needed to develop other versions. It's a great start to letting children do some engineering and experimentation. Another things that's really nice is it allows you to use object you have around home.

Link for these directions:

Total Time 1 hour
Ages school-age
In ancient times, catapults were instruments of war. Our modern version comes in peace, offering its operator the fun of hurling marshmallows or other soft objects.
What you'll need
  • Family-size tissue box
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Ballpoint pen
  • Pushpin
  • 2 rubber bands
  • 2 unsharpened pencils
  • 4-inch length of pipe cleaner
  • Tape
  • Plastic cap
  • Glue dots

How to make it

  1. Expand the opening of the tissue box by cutting off the sections shown.
  2. Punch a hole 2 inches from one end and 1/2 inch down from the opening of the box. Enlarge the hole with the ballpoint pen. Make a matching hole on the opposite side of the box.
  3. In the center of the far end of the box, poke a hole with the pushpin 1/4 inch up from the bottom. Enlarge the hole slightly with the ballpoint pen.
  4. Snip one rubber band to create a strip. Use the strip to wrap and tie the pencils into a cross, as shown. Loop the other band around the 2-inch pencil section as shown, and tighten.
  5. Insert the pencil cross into the box holes. Fold the pipe cleaner around the rubber band loop and poke both ends through the hole near the base. Spread open the pipe cleaner ends and tape them to the outside of the box. Attach a plastic cap to the end of the pencil with a couple of glue dots.

    To use your catapult, pull the capped pencil back, load it with a marshmallow, and let go! (To be safe, do not launch any hard or sharp items.)

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