Kids love building things, and when you add in the chance to fling a bit of candy? We are talking an instant hit!
Make your own craft stick catapults and let your child’s imagination soar.
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This is one kids STEM activity you will want to try!
Craft Stick Catapult
- Craft Sticks (7 for each catapult)
- Plastic Spoons (stronger spoons, like these, work best)
- Small Rubber Bands
How to build a 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!
Try experimenting with how many craft sticks you use for your catapult. We tried 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.
Try taking the criss-crossing rubber band off one catapult and moving the crossbar up on the catapult to see how it effects the distance.
You might also want to try using different candy pieces. We found heavier ones didn’t fly as far, and smaller candy pieces flew further.
You could also use marshmallows, cotton balls, paper wads… Let the kids have fun seeing what will fly the farthest! We had a blast using marshmallow peeps in this catapult game.
You might find after a while that your child’s favorite toys get in on the action.
At our house 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!
You may also like:
- STEM Activity: Make a Paper Cup Phone
- STEM Activity: Design a Boat that Floats
- How to Make a Pumpkin Pulley System
- Make a Colorful Bracelet with Soda Straw Weaving
- Engineer a Coffee Filter Parachute
Originally posted November 11, 2014.