A Great Project for Kids of Any Age: Make a Catapult

By: Will Kalif

Build, Play, and learn

Catapult making is first of all a great hands-on craft type project. And it is scalable because there are great projects suitable for children from ages 5 to 25. I will go over some of these project ideas by age group. Secondly there is the play aspect to a catapult. Once it is completed it does something. It is not a static project. You can use it to create games or to send safe projectiles across the room or yard. Thirdly it is a learning project. You can easily leverage it into a learning process that explores the basics of engineering or that delves into the history of the Middle Ages and siege engines.

Three different projects depending on the child's age and skill level

For younger children a Popsicle stick catapult is a perfect project to make. It is small, easy to manage, and uses materials that children are familiar with. Seven sticks, a small piece of paper, a rubber band, and some masking tape are all that you need. You can then expand this project into any variety of tabletop games where children compete by sending small paper balls into or at various targets while keeping score.

A great mid-level project, which takes a bit of woodworking, is a tabletop sized catapult. A project like this takes an assortment of wood pieces, some sturdy rubber bands, and the axle from an old toy car. It also takes some wood glue or screws and nails. This type of project is very rewarding and I recommend it for children over the age of ten. It is also a project that will take most of a Saturday to make. But by the end of the day you should be firing it off.

For older kids in the teenager range and above you could really take your project making to a weekend builder type project and make a catapult that is as much as three to six feet in size. This kind of project can be done with any variety of materials ranging from wood to PVC piping. With a project like this you could also delve a bit into some of the principles of engineering.

Making a catapult with a child is extremely rewarding because it covers so many different creative areas. It is first of all a great hands-on type project with the added dimension of doing something when it is completed. This makes it a great creative toy where you can think up lots of little games you can use it for. Finally, catapult making is a great way to introduce engineering skills and history lessons to a child. And this kind of a project is perfectly scalable in that you can tailor the type of project to the age of the child. You also get the bonus of it being a fun project for you too. Go ahead and have some fun!

Top Searches on
Kids and Teens
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Kids and Teens