Kids love building things, and when you add in the chance to fling a bit of candy? We are talking an instant hit! This week we had a blast making our very own craft stick catapults!
This is one STEM activity you will want to try!
- Craft Sticks (7 for each catapult)
- Plastic Spoons (stronger spoons, like these, work best)
- Small Rubber Bands
To build your own craft stick catapult:
- Stack 5 craft sticks on top of each other and secure both ends with a rubber band. (We used some of the colorful loom bands that seem to be everywhere in our kitchen.) This will be your crossbar.
- Next, stack 2 craft sticks on top of each other and secure one end with a rubber band.
- Carefully open up the 2 craft sticks and slide your stack of 5 in between them.
- Then lay a plastic spoon on top of the top craft stick and secure both ends of the spoon to the craft stick. (As shown in the picture above.)
- Finally, criss-cross one more rubber band around the area where the craft sticks intersect, holding it all in place.
Launching your craft stick catapult:
To launch your homemade catapult, simply hold one side of the crossbar while using one finger to push the spoon down and then — let go!
We tried experimenting with our catapults, using just 3 craft sticks for the crossbar (which caused the candy to not go as far). We also found 7 craft sticks also didn’t work very well.
We took the criss-crossing rubber band off one catapult and tried moving the crossbar up on the catapult to see how it would effect the distance.
We also tried using heavier candy pieces, which didn’t fly as far, and smaller candy pieces, which we found flew further. (You could also use marshmallows, cotton balls, paper wads… Let the kids have fun seeing what will fly the farthest!)
The kids had lots of fun discovering ways to make the catapults launch their candy further.
After a while the Imaginext knights had to join the fun, and soon it was a full-on attack on the castle!
We had fun learning about catapults, seeing what effect minor changes would have on our design.
You could easily use these fun craft stick catapults to talk about potential energy (when the spoon is held back) and kinetic energy. For older kids you could challenge them to design a different version of a catapult.
No matter what age, these craft stick catapults are definitely fun! (Now, if you excuse me, I have some candy to fling!)
If you like our craft stick catapults, you may also like:
- STEM Activity: Make a Paper Cup Phone
- STEM Activity: Design a Boat that Floats
- Subtraction Squish (Fun way to work on subtraction skills at home)
- Build a Cardboard Castle Playhouse