Back before wars were fought with drones and bombs, only the cleverest of attackers would make it past high castle walls. Their weapon of choice? The good ol’ catapult. Throw whatever ya got in there (spears? Big rocks? cows?) and let ‘er rip. Sounds like it must have been a sight to see, I must say.
In modern times, the catapult has found its way into the hands of the youngest engineers. Whether you put them there or not, projectile machines will find their way into the hands of your kids. Why not involve yourself by buying or making a catapult with them while helping them learn a thing or two about physics and responsible shooting along the way?
You don’t need much to make your own catapult with stuff from around the house. Your first successful war machine will open up a whole new door to other clever inventions that will inevitably lead to more fun, but also more marshmallows and fuzz balls hiding behind the couch.
Kids Activities Blog guides you through making the catapult pictured in the header with rubber bands, paper towel rolls and a spoon. Challenge kids to think of other materials from around the house they could use.
The first lesson in catapulting is how not to hurt people. Starting off with a marshmallow catapult is a great way to teach kids to value distance and accuracy without endangering any poor animal or person that may happen to cross the projectile’s path.
These awesome little catapults are in my ideal price range (read: they’re cheap) and take their design from the real catapults of yore. If for some reason they end up collecting dust at home, they’d make an excellent conversation piece on your desk at work. What could be better than a mini catapult to tell people you like to have fun but you’re also a little dangerous?
Modern Catapult Designs
If one would count the slingshot as a member of the catapult family, why not count the 3-person CataRumms? You may need older kids to help stabilize the catapult depending on how far you want the projectile to go, but this basically turns a one-person toy into more of an interactive ordeal.
Making it a Game
If solo catapulting is getting old quick, why not make it into a game? Add another catapult, grab a few things to make yourselves some castle walls, and let the destruction begin. Whoever still has walls standing at the end is the victor.
Etsy seller Funny Farm Toy Barn has a great little classic wooden catapult game where two opponents can attack each others’ walls with lightweight wooden balls.
Concerned that entering the world of catapulting might make things a little more dangerous around the house? Just make sure you lay down ground rules and teach them that sometimes things that seem soft can still injure people when shot with tension.
And of course, make sure you tell them “you can’t fight in here, this is the war room.”