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Catapult Creativity at Home With These Simple Steps

Supplies Needed: Popsicle sticks, rubber bands, plastic spoons or cups, glue, paint, cotton balls, paper plates.

 Creating a Simple Catapult

By using just a few household items and a little help, children can create a DIY simple catapult all by themselves! 

  • Form a letter “A” using popsicle sticks and rubber bands.

  • Repeat this two times to create three letter “A”s.

 

  • Attach all three together using rubber bands, along with one popsicle stick attaching the two top points of the “A” formation. Lastly, attach the bottom of a plastic spoon to the rubber bands as seen below:
     

    Catapult Painting

    Once you’ve built the perfect catapult- it’s time to head outside and use it for some fun!

    • Tape a large white paper or sheet to a fence, wall, tree (anything you can find!) and collect a variety of paint colors on paper plates along with different sized cotton balls. For better results, place your catapult on a heightened object, such as a play table.

    • Take different size cotton balls, dip them in the paint, and place the cotton ball in your spoon.

Pull backward and use your catapult to launch the cotton balls at the sheet to create a colorful, abstract masterpiece!

 

Learning link: These simple catapults helped students see how energy can be stored, transferred, and converted. As they tested the catapults to launch lightweight cotton balls, they explored the variables that come into play and explored the physics of projectiles. What controls how far the object flies? Can you hit your target? What is the best combination of catapult design and launch angle to make the cotton ball fly farthest? Experiment with different angles and distances to teach your child the science behind the fun!

 

 

 

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