Let’s see how to make this simple catapult for children made with clothespins and ice cream sticks. It is designed for children. To spend time with them building it and then playing at launching different types of projectiles.
We will take the opportunity to explain different concepts and data about catapults in history and in wars depending on the age of the child.
- 2 wooden clothespins
- 2 ice cream sticks (wide, like doctors’)
- plastic lid
- glue (if possible thermal glue)
- 2 elastic bands, the stronger the better
Homemade catapult step by step
We will leave a wooden stick on the table and glue the clamps and the second stick as we see in the image.
Once it is dry we will stick the stopper 1cm from the end of the 2nd stick. We leave this distance and then we can boost it well. In this way our finger will grip better.
To launch we put the projectile that we are going to use in the stopper and with one hand we hold the stick that is on the ground and with another hand we tense down and release suddenly.
See how it opens up when flexing. Energy accumulates in 3 different places:
- in the mechanism of the clamp itself that has to close,
- on the elastic bands that hold the clips together
- in bending the wooden stick
What projectile or ammunition to use
Be careful what you throw. If you are at home, use something that does not weigh much like an aluminum foil ball. This is ideal.
If you are going to throw stones, marbles or similar, it is in open spaces and nobody gets on top of it. Throw much, much stronger than you can imagine. For real. It is a silly toy but it has a lot of power. More than expected. Let them tell my ceiling.
The rubber on the left and the one in the center help to increase power, the one on the right really subtracts, but that is how my daughters shot better. If it was not a little out of control, it is all a matter of trying.
This is the final result.
As a projectile I like to use a ball made of aluminum foil although you can try different objects. Be careful if you use marbles or things that weigh because it has much more strength than it seems.
What can we explain to them according to their age?
History of catapults, sieges, ballistics, parabolic shooting,
About the catapults
It is a war machine that stores energy to transmit it to a projectile.
The first catapults were invented by the Greeks in 399 BC, developed by the Carthaginians and perfected by the Romans who made it a true weapon of destruction in sieges.
We are going to talk about some other type of catapults on the blog and I am working on much more content
- Viking catapult
- Homemade trebuchet
Since then they have been used and modified in all centuries until the 14th century. All kinds of catapults have been invented. But we will leave the history of the catapults for a special article that I am preparing.
Roman catapults could fire 30kg stones 300m away.
- Experimentos para principiantes. Editorial LIBSA
- The art of the catapult. William Gurstelle