How to make a catapult

The last catapult we made was quite complicated, so today we’re sharing a much easier shoebox catapult.

This is a great activity for practising correct scientific procedures or as a design and technology project.

How to make a shoebox catapult


Shoe box

lolly stick or plastic spoon


Elastic bands


Milk carton top


Use the pencil to carefully pierce two holes in your shoe box.

Glue a milk carton top to the lolly stick and leave to dry.


Use the elastic bands to tie the lolly stick to the pencil and place the pencil through the holes.



Test your catapult with different objects, do lighter objects move further?

Does it work best if you flick the lolly stick with your finger or if you drop something onto the end.

Can you make a target?

We made this target using a piece of cardboard, which was great for some adding up practice. What do you think of our hoops?

catapult target

Investigation Ideas

Does the ball travel further if you push the milk bottle top down further?

Does a lighter ball travel further?

What happens if you use a longer craft stick?

Remember to only change one variable at a time as you experiment.

Design and Technology

Are there any changes that could be made to the catapult to make it work better?

How can you improve your design?

More catapult ideas

Frugal fun for boys made a brilliant dowel rod catapult.

Kids Activities Blog has a great lollystick catapult.

Or why not try to make a LEGO catapult


Make a catapult



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