These quick and easy catapults are great fun to make and play with but are also a fantastic learning opportunity. They can be linked to a range of other subjects including science, history and maths.
To make a catapult you will need:
- Elastic bands
- Wooden lollypop sticks
- A plastic bottle lid or a cup cut from an egg box
- Pom poms
It is really easy!
- Take four wooden lollypop sticks and secure them together at either end with elastic bands.
- Take another four wooden lollypop sticks and again join them together with elastic bands at either end.
- Take 2 wooden lollypop sticks and wind an elastic band around one end.
- Pull the two sticks apart and push one of the piles of four sticks (that you have already made) between them.
- Put the other pile of four sticks underneath the four sticks that are in between the two sticks. Attach the piles of four sticks at both ends with two more elastic bands
- Glue a small plastic bottle lid or egg carton cup onto the end (the opposite end to the elastic bands) of the top stick leaving just enough space for a finger to push the stick down at the end.
- To fire the catapult put a pom pom or ball of scrunched up paper in the cup or bottle lid and press down on the end to fire, whilst holding the other side still with the other hand.
Additional Learning Opportunities
• Discuss the principles of energy transfer and how this is used in catapult design.
• Investigate the catapults used by Romans and how they were used. Let children have a go at their own designs using a variety of materials including sticks and elastic bands.
• For scientific enquiry, ask children to design an experiment to investigate how different factors including pom pom size can affect the distance that the pom pom travels. This is also a good opportunity for children to practice team work, measuring skills and creating charts with the data collected.
• Create a target on a piece of paper or on the playground using chalk. The children can fire pom poms at the target and whilst practicing their mental maths skills to add up the scores.
Do you have any more ideas for adding a bit of fun to learning with quick and easy catapults? Please share your ideas with us or follow us on Pinterest for more art and craft ideas.
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