Make a lolly or popsicle stick catapult | Mum In The Madhouse

Make a lolly or popsicle stick catapult

A Popsicle Stick Catapult is a super simple science and craft activity to do with the kids.  We always have lots of lolly sticks (popsicle sticks) left to use, so we decided to have a go at making a lolly stick catapult.  These were so simple to make, but we have had hours of fun seeing who can get mini marshmallows into a target using their popsicle stick catapult!

lolly stick catapult square

How to make a popsicle stick catapult

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6 Lolly sticks/popsicle sticks
1 Wooden or plastic spoon
6 Loom bands or elastic bands

Watch the Video: How to make a popsicle stick catapult

How to make a catapult out of popsicle sticks

Craft Stick Catapult!: The craft stick castle isn't going to invade itself! With a quick craft stick catapult, you'll be launching pom-poms over pipe cleaner parapets in no time. Whether you're using it to learn about levers simple machines

Stack 5 lolly sticks together and wrap a loom band around each end

lolly stick catapult 3

Stack 1 popsicle stick and the wooden spoon together and wrap a loom band around the very end. We prefer a wooden spoon to a plastic one for our popsicle stick catapult design as it gives without cracking making for a better “fling”.

lolly stick catapult 4

Separate the spoon and the popsicle stick. Place the stack of 5 craft sticks between the lolly stick and spoon.

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

lolly stick catapult

Push down on the spoon and release to launch an object from catapult.

The science behind a catapult

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Even though your kids will see catapults as a fun activity, there is a lot of science involved with the laws of motion.   Catapults were first invented to hurl projectiles farther than any human could. They proved themselves very effective as siege weapons and invaluable on the battlefield. Catapults have been used since ancient times all the way to World War I. “Catapult” comes from two Greek words, “Kata” which means downward and “pultos” which is a small shield. Together, Katapultos means “shield piercer.”

Catapult physics is basically the use of stored energy to hurl a projectile (the payload), without the use of an explosive. The three primary energy storage mechanisms are tension, torsion, and gravity (Newton’s laws)

popsicle stick catapult 1

Catapult projectiles for kids

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!

  • Marshmallows
  • Pom-poms
  • Sponge pieces – wet or dry
  • Cotton wool balls
  • Crumpled paper balls
  • Ping pong balls
  • Stuffed animals!
  • Small soft play balls
popsicle stick catapults
popsicle stick crafts
Make a lolly or popsicle stick catapult

Check out our other Popsicle Stick Activities:

Craft Stick Crafts and Activities
Who knew STEM and physics could be so much fun? We did! Want to learn how to make a catapult with popsicle sticks? This Popsicle stick catapult design is an AWESOME STEM activity for kids of all ages!

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