These craft stick catapults or popsicle stick catapults are very easy to make and provide hours of fun as well as being a brilliant engineering and design project. We made our popsicle stick catapults space themed and turned table tennis balls into planets. There are so many different catapult designs and themes to choose from, you’ll be busy for weeks!
Popsicle stick catapults are also great for a maths based activity if children record how far different size/weights of balls travel.
Popsicle or lollystick catapults are very easy to make. Each one takes only a couple of minutes to build once you get the hang of it.
What you need for a Popsicle Stick Catapult
Wide popsicle sticks/ lolly sticks
Other items to test
Double sided tape
Milk bottle top
Tape measure – optional
How to make a Popsicle stick catapult
- Start with about 7 popsicle 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.
Popsicle Stick Catapult 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?
How far can you get a ball to travel?
What happens if you make the ball heavier?
More Catapult Designs
Can you build a giant catapult? We used this one to launch tennis balls over a net.
We love this easy LEGO Catapult
Try an easy shoe box 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.