Making a catapult with kids starts out as a craft and ends with a fun STEM activity! Add a target or a competitive goal to your homemade catapult design and now you have a game. Catapults might possibly be the perfect toy!
15 DIY Catapults
All these catapults to make at home use everyday objects – hopefully you won’t have to buy a thing for your catapult design. Upcycle items in your kitchen junk drawer for hours of catapult target practice.
These catapult designs are in order as seen in the photo above with a few bonus catapults at the end. We are all about catapult value here!
1. Plastic Spoon Catapult Design
How cool! This Plastic Spoon Catapult by Housing a Forrest starts us off with the simplest version of them all!
2. Tinker Toy Catapult Idea
Want to know how to make a catapult? It’s easy with Tinker Toy Catapult. Get out that cherished set and make an easy catapult!
3. Dragon Slaver Catapult Design
Dragon Slayer Catapult is a whole story behind this simple (and large) catapult from Frugal Fun for Boys.
4. Tissue Box Catapult Plans
Tissue Box Catapult is a simple machine uses pencils and an empty tissue box from Spoonful.
5. Homemade Catapult Paper Plate Target Game
Tripod catapult made out of marshmallows, straws and pom poms can be made into a fun target game using a paper plate target.
6. Table Top Catapult Goal Game
This simple DIY Catapult Goal Game game from Toddler Approved is catapult fun on a tabletop scale.
7. DIY Cotton Ball Launcher
Cotton Ball Launcher is from Delightful Learning will have cotton balls flying!
8. LEGO Catapult Design
LEGO Catapult is great if you have 100’s of bricks in your house, this might be a good project for about 20 of them.
9. Marshmallow Launcher Plans
Marshmallow Launcher is made from a balloon and small plastic container can get marshmallows air born!
10. Pool Noodle Catapult Design
Pool Noodle Catapult is the large version is absolutely fun and games from Toddler Approved!
11. Popsicle Stick Stick Catapult Simple Design
This Craft Stick Catapult transforms a few craft sticks, some rubber bands and a lid into a projectile shooting machine!
12. Wooden Spoon Catapult Simple Design
Wooden Spoon Catapult launch is easy with a wooden spoon and a few paper towel rolls!
13. Skewer and Marshmallow Catapult
This Skewer & Marshmallow Catapult design from It’s Always Autumn uses marshmallows IN the design!
14. Paper Bowl Catapult Plans
This easy-to-adapt Paper Bowl Catapult idea comes from Science Gal and can bring a new game to any picnic!
15. Make a Cardboard Catapult
Love this simple Cardboard Catapult project from iKat Bag!
16. Simple DIY Catapult
This simple DIY catapult will let you shoot marshmallows! How far can you shoot them? This one actually uses a spoon rather than popsicle sticks.
17. Super Simple Catapult
Use crafting sticks and a bottle cap to make this super simple catapult.
18. Rubber Band Catapult
Learn how to make a catapult with rubber bands! It’s easy.
Even though kids will see catapult play as fun and games, there is a ton of science involved. Using a simple catapult design you can learn about kinetic energy in an easy way.
Catapults can also teach about simple machines and elastic potential energy and even about what a pivot point is. If you are looking into adding some learning into this activity, I thought these resources were helpful:
- Launch into Learning from Teach Engineering
- The Science Behind the Catapult
- All About Catapults from All Things Medieval
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Catapult Projectiles for Kids
Obviously whether you are playing inside or outside will be a big component of your decision on what to use as catapult projectiles.
Safety is the other big one! The last thing you need is an ACTUAL weapon in your house.
The good news is that modern life has provided many alternatives to the medieval rock. Start with one of the suggestions below, but get the kids involved in finding soft and safe alternatives.
Safety glasses is always a great idea when playing with flying objects!
- Crumpled paper balls
- Craft Pom-poms
- Sponge “bombs” or sponge pieces – wet or dry
- Cotton balls
- Ping pong balls
- Duct tape or masking tape balls
- Stuffed animals
- Hacky sacks or small soft/squishy play balls
More Catapult Resources for Kids
Here are some more things we found that we thought you might like. These are different catapults, but still are a lot of fun. Each of these catapults can shoot small items a great distance! They are so much fun.
Catapult books We Love
Catapult Kits for Kids
- Pathfinders Medieval Catapult Wooden Kit
- NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Construction Model Kit
- Leonardo da Vinci Catapult Kit
- ButterflyEdufields DIY Wooden Catapult Kit STEM Toys for Kids
- Craft Stick Catapults Kit
- High Power Catapult Kit
- Wood Trick Catapult Wooden Model Kit to Build
Catapult Toys That are A Lot of Learning Fun
- KAOS Catapult Water Balloon Launcher
- Catapult Wars
- YHmall 3 Person Water Balloon Launcher with 500 Water Balloons
- Stanley Jr DIY Truck Catapult Building Kit
- IELLO Catapult Feud game Blue
Want More Fun STEM Activities to Do With Your Kids?
- If you are looking for science projects for 4 year olds, we got ya covered!
- Science Activity: Pillow Stacking <–it is fun!
- Create your own LEGO instruction books with this fun STEM idea for kids.
- Build this solar system model for kids
- LEGO building ideas
- You already have the red cups from this STEM project, so here is another one in a red cup challenge which is a cup building project.
- Follow along the simple steps to how to fold a paper airplane and then host your own paper airplane challenge!
- Build this straw tower STEM challenge!
- Got a lot of building bricks at home? This LEGO STEM activity can put those bricks to good learning use.
- Here are a bunch more STEM activities for kids!
- Try out this catapult made of popsicle sticks!
What catapult design are you going to try first?