Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Catapults in the Library!

In the summer I run a "Crafty Kids Club" for grades 3-5, which meets once a month.  Since this year's SRP has a science-y theme, I wanted to go along with that, and what could be more science-y than making our own catapults?!? And what do kids enjoy more than launching stuff across the room?!?

Craft Stick Catapult

You can download excellent and easy instructions from HERE.

All you need are craft sticks, rubber bands, and some bottle caps.  (Note: I found that the wider craft sticks worked better than the skinny ones.) Since you probably have these things lying around (and you can raid the recycling bin for caps), this is a really inexpensive and easy craft to pull off!

Now, since assembling the catapults isn't too time consuming, I thought we could also make some targets.  I found this simple bull's-eye from Google Images:

And since I know we've got a lot of Angry Birds fans in our community, I thought it would be fun to add those darn pigs to the targets. I found some coloring pages from Google Images:

Ta-da! Instant Pig Target!

Now all you need are some mini marshmallows and you'll be ready to start shooting!

This was so much fun and the kids LOVED it! The catapults were so easy to assemble, so we had a lot of time to play with them.  I got out regular sized and mini marshmallows, as well as various sizes of pom-poms, so they could experiment with what launches the best.  My teen helpers ( I couldn't survive without them!!) set up some foam building blocks as targets for the kids to shoot at, and even though it was virtually impossible to knock them down with marshmallows, the kids didn't care at all!  I was so delighted to see them experimenting and inventing new games to play.  Kids who didn't even know each other were laughing hysterically while trying to shoot marshmallows into their mouths, while others were re-building with the blocks to create the perfect targets to shoot at.  I was also able to sneak in an easy science lesson about potential and kinetic energy!!

This was such a success and everyone had a great time - and so easy too! Try it at your library!

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