How to make a catapult

These catapults are very easy to make and provide hours of fun as well as being a brilliant engineering and design project. We made ours space themed and turned table tennis balls into planets.

Catapults are also great for a maths based activity if children record how far different size/weights of balls travel.

The catapults are very easy to make, each one takes only a couple of minutes  to build once you get the hang of it.

Make your own catapult

How to make a catapult

Materials

Wide lollysticks

Elastic bands

Table tennis balls

Other items to test

Double sided tape

Milk bottle top

Tape measure – optional

How to make a catapult

  • Start with about 7 lolly sticks and place them on top of each other. Twist an elastic band around each end to hold them in place.
  • Place another stick above and one below the stack of 7 so they make a cross shape. There should be more lolly stick on the end you want to use for the milk top.
  • Tie an elastic band around the middle of the cross.
  • Twist another elastic band around the bottom of two sticks as you can see in the photo.
  • Attach a milk bottle top using double sided tape or strong glue.
  • Experiment with your table tennis balls.

 

Investigation Ideas – remember to only change one variable at a time

What happens if you add more or less lollypop sticks to the central core of the catapult?

What happens if your catapult end is shorter?

Does a heavier ball travel further?

Catapulting planets

More catapult posts

Make a catapult with LEGO

LEGO catapult

Try an easy shoe box catapult.

Catapult

Try some catapult painting like Fun-a-Day.

Frugal fun for Boys has another craft stick catapult design.

Or, try this bigger version of a lollystick catapult.

 

Amazing-catapults

There are 2 comments

  1. CThielen

    We made catapults in one of my science lab placements. The students loved creating their own catapult and decorating however they wished. They also had contests whose could go the furthest and tallest. They really enjoyed the activity!

  2. Louisa

    Having read this I thought it was very enlgihtening. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this short article together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

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