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10+ Amazing Ways to Make a Catapult with Kids

Making a catapult is fun to spend an afternoon with your kids. Not only is it entertaining, but it can also teach them some basic physics principles. Catapults for kids are a perfect science activity for parents, too.

Plus, there are so many ways to make a catapult that you can tailor the project to fit your child’s interests and abilities. For example, my son wants a catapult that shoots far!

Below are 10+ of the best ways to make a catapult with kids. Enjoy!

What are Catapults?

Catapults are a classic building activity for kids. Believe it or not, catapults have been around since medieval times. Catapults are a tool to launch an item a great distance without additional aid from explosives.

History & Purpose

They have been proven to be one of the most effective mechanisms during warfare.  That is pretty amazing, given that making a catapult is relatively easy.

Learn how to build a catapult from the experts using a variety of materials

How Do Catapults Work?

Don’t forget to take the learning beyond making the catapult into math and more science!  The science behind a catapult is physics. A catapult launches with stored energy. The energy used with catapults includes tension, torsion, and gravity.

Related Read: How to Make a Pulley with Kids

What Supplies Do You Need to Build a Catapult?

  • rubber bands
  • craft sticks
  • plastic or wooden spoon
  • pom poms
  • bottle caps

The Best Catapult Ideas for Kids

How to Build a Catapult - Popsicle Sticks
a popsicle stick catapult using rubber bands and a spoon

Popsicle Stick Catapult

This popsicle stick catapult by Buggy and Buddy uses simple materials: rubber bands, a plastic spoon, popsicle sticks, and pom poms.

How to Build a Lego with Legos
Building a catapult with lego

Catapult with Legos

Learn how to build a catapult with legos by visiting this post on Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls

Make a catapult with Tinker Toys

Use Tinker Toys

This post is particularly appealing because it outlines where to take the learning once you build the catapult. There are measuring, estimations, and hypotheses being made!

How to Build a Catapult with Lincoln Log

Lincoln Log Catapult

Yes! Brain Power Boy offers a sweet & traditional version of a catapult. Learn how to build with Lincoln Logs!

How to Make a Catapult that Launches Chocolate

Chocolate Launching Catapult

Build a Chocolate Launcher & win the hearts of children everywhere. Seriously. Like Everywhere.

How to build a catapult with PVC pipes

PVC Catapult for the Win

A PVC Catapult is a bit more labor and material-intensive simply because it involves a trip to the hardware store. You must purchase various PVC pipe sizes, connectors, and duct tape. Not too tricky to put together but requires some organization.

How to Build a Catapult - Pencils & Rubber Band

Pencil Catapult

So simple! This pencil catapult by Little Bins for Little Hands is a fun back-to-school activity requiring very few materials: pencils & rubber bands.

How to Build a Catapult with a Tissue Box

Tissue Box

Frugal Fun for Boys & Girls shows us how to build a catapult with a tissue box! As you can see in this photo, you don’t need much other than a glue gun, a cap, a paper hole punch, a straw, pencils, and scissors.

How to build a catapult with paper towel tubes

Paper Towel Tube

I love activities that require not much more than checking out the recycling bin. Master how to build a catapult with paper towel tubes, some yarn, pom poms, tape, a spoon, and rubber bands.

How to build a catapult with a cardboard box

Cardboard Box

Use a cardboard box. iKatbag shows us a simple way to build a catapult with recycled materials and materials you have around your home.

Further Learning about Catapults

Asking open-ended questions is a fantastic way to keep the learning rolling.

Here are a few ideas for catapults:

  • Talk about projectile motion and ask for predictions on how far various objects will go
  • Switch up the launching object
  • Build other types of catapults and see how changing the materials mixes up the energy
  • Ask a lot of what happens if and what happens when questions

Learn more about how catapults work (and learn about the main types of catapults) by visiting one of my favorite sites!

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