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!

catapults to make with kids - 12 catapult designs for kids pictured
Let’s build our own catapult!

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.

Catapult Science

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:

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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!

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 kids books toys

Catapult books We Love

Catapult Kits for Kids

Catapult Toys That are A Lot of Learning Fun

Want More Fun STEM Activities to Do With Your Kids?

What catapult design are you going to try first?

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  1. Building DIY catapults were my boys favorite activity growing up. So many of the catapult crafts you see in Kids Activities Blog today was because they were catapult obsessed! I can’t wait for you to try these homemade catapult ideas.

  2. I didn’t care much for science as a kid–but I did like more hands-on experiments, like when we made balloon rockets in 5th grade! This DIY catapult would’ve been one of my favorites, too!

  3. I love making catapults with my kindergarten students. It is such a fun activity. I always make the same kind every year, so I can’t wait to try some different ones this time around!