Simple Catapult with Popsicle Sticks for Kids

We are building a simple popsicle stick catapult for kids. This science and STEM activity works well for kids of all ages at home or in the classroom. We love catapult crafts because once you make a catapult, then you can play with a catapult!

Text: Catapults for Distance - image is a finished popsicle stick catapult with green popsicle sticks and a blue bottle cap for a launcher - Kids Activities Blog
Let’s build a popsicle stick catapult!

Make A Simple Catapult with Popsicle Sticks

What kid doesn’t want to launch something across the room? Build a catapult to develop this love even more.

Related: 13 ways how to make a catapult

We hope your kids love this activity as much as our own do.

This article contains affiliate links.

Catapult With Popsicle Sticks Kids Can Make

Before building our craft stick catapult, I showed my 3 year old how to turn a spoon into a catapult. Simply press on the spoon end and the other end lifts up. You can’t make an easier catapult than that.

Popsicle Stick Catapult Supplies

Steps 1-4 in popsicle stick catapult craft for kids using popsicle sticks and a bottle cap.  Collage of 4 steps
Follow these steps to build your own popsicle stick catapult!

How To Make A Catapult for Kids Out Of Popsicle Sticks

Step 1

Stack 5 craft sticks together, and rubber band the ends.

Step 2

Stack 2 craft sticks together, and wrap a rubber band around the very end.

Step 3

Separate the 2 craft sticks. Place the stack of 5 craft sticks between the 2 craft sticks.

Step 4

Wrap a rubber band around all of the craft sticks to hold the catapult together.

Step 5

Glue a milk cap {or something similar} on to serve as a launching platform.

Related: LEGO building ideas

Popsicle Stick Catapult
This catapult craft is part of our science book!

Finished Popsicle Stick Catapult

Push down on the top craft stick and release to launch an object from the milk cap.

Yield: 1

Catapult with Popsicle Sticks

catapult made with popsicle sticks

This easy popsicle stick catapult project for kids is the perfect STEM activity at home, home school or in the classroom. This hands-on catapult building activity can be modified in a million ways and tested with different projectiles for distance and weight! Let's make a catapult.

Active Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Difficulty Medium
Estimated Cost $1


  • 7 craft sticks
  • 3 rubber bands
  • a milk cap
  • cotton balls {or other objects to launch}


  • glue


  1. Make a stack of 5 craft sticks and then bind them together with rubber bands at each ends.
  2. Stack 2 craft sticks together and then wrap a rubber band around one end.
  3. Separate the 2 craft sticks you just attached at one end and place the stack of 5 craft sticks perpendicular in between making a cross shape.
  4. Attach the two stacks together with a rubber band at the center of the cross to hold the catapult together.
  5. Glue a milk cap or other cap to the upper popsicle stick to act as a launching platform.

Play with Catapult Science

Now create a simple experiment using the catapult of your choice.

Related: Grab our worksheet for kids to learn the scientific method steps

Try one of these simple science experiments:

  • Launch an object from the catapult multiple times and measure how far it travels each time.
  • Launch different objects from the catapult and measure how far each object travels.
  • Compare catapults. Build more than one catapult {the same or different design}. Launch the same object from each catapult and measure how far it travels.

Can you think of any other catapult experiments? Do you have a favorite catapult design?

More DIY Catapults for Kids

What a fun way to launch something in the air!  Kids can build a catapult AND learn about science at the same time.  

The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments

More Science Fun in Our 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments Book

Our book, The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments, features tons of awesome activities just like this one that will keep your kids engaged while they learn. Check out the tear sheet from the catapult craft we just did that you can download and print:

How did your popsicle stick catapult turn out? Tell us in the comments below!

Popsicle Stick Catapult FAQ

What is a catapult?

A catapult is a simple lever machine that launches a projectile using the force of tension and torsion instead of a propellant like gun powder. Catapults are often used in war as a weapon because they are able to fling heavy objects into the distance allowing armies to stay away from each other.

How far can a popsicle stick catapult launch?

We are going to leave it up to you to find out how far your popsicle stick catapult can launch an object, but depending the catapult design and the weight of the projectile, we have found that a popsicle stick catapult can launch items over 10 feet! Be careful!

What can I teach my kids with a catapult?

There is so much STEM goodness with this catapult project! Kids can learn the basics of catapult design, how changes will affect projectile launch height and length along with problem solving how to fix a faulty catapult! Have fun because every time you build a catapult, you will learn something new no matter your age.


  1. This is the simplest catapult I’ve seen! We might try it very soon! Thanks for inspiration.

  2. This is brilliant! I have two boys and they have decided that this is THE item for the summer. They have assembled a few targets (bowls, shoes, cups) and tomorrow we are going out to buy the popsicle sticks. Thanks so much for the idea and directions!

  3. Ohh this looks like fun- I will be pinning this -Visiting from the After school Linky

  4. This is too awesome!! I am going to have to go eat some Popsicle so that I can make some of these after my daughter gets home from school, she will love it.

  5. This looks so cool! Even my husband wants to make one! I think this could prove to be very entertaining my my 10 year old nephew! Thanks for sharing! Found my way here through Less Laundry, More Linking!

  6. Well this just looks fun! I don’t know of any kid who wouldn’t thoroughly enjoy one, I know my girls would! Thanks for sharing!

  7. I love your catapult because we have everything to make it and it’s full of action– the perfect project for my little one! Thanks for sharing:)

  8. This is awesome my preschooler would love it.
    Thanks for linking up at Artsy Play Wednesday. Pinned to our group board. Hope to see you again this week.

  9. What fun! Thanks for sharing at my Pin Me party! I am following your social media now.

  10. This is so clever and I know my 5 year old will love it. What a great addition to some pretend play or an exploration of math concepts. I found this on the After School Linky and am so glad I checked it out! Great idea.

  11. Fun idea! My kids would def. love this. Thanks for sharing at Silver Pennies Sundays. x

  12. My 5 yr old would get a kick out of this! Found via Saturday Show & Tell 🙂

    Stop over and link at our SUPER SUNDAY Link Party, live now! Our readers will also enjoy!

    Who Needs A Cape?
    Not Your Average Super Moms…

  13. Magnificent site. Plenty of useful info here. I’m sending it to some friends
    ans additionally sharing in delicious. And of course, thank you on your effort!

  14. smith wesley says:

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article.

    1. Kristen Yard says:

      Thank you! So glad that you enjoyed it!

    1. Kristen Yard says:

      You’re welcome!

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