Make a popstick catapult

homemade catapult

homemade catapultDuring the Autumn festival each year the Steiner children take part in activities that test their courage, resolve and patience. It is a time when the children are told stories of courage and bravery. They are encouraged to be brave themselves and take with them into the colder months ahead the fortitude they gain from this.

In more primitive times hunting and gathering were tests of courage and required finely tuned skills of accuracy and marksmanship, along with patience and courage. Children have a natural instinct to develop these ancient skills.

With this craft project they will be able to make themselves a simple catapult which can then be used safely using paper balls to practice their marksmanship and accuracy.  They will be able to have fun and invent different games to play with their home-made catapult.

You will need:

32 popsticks

A rubber band

 A milk carton top

craft materials






Step 1:

This is how to tape sticks together. Lay out your tape with the sticky side up then place two sticks end to end right on it. Just press the sticks down firmly on the tape, don’t wrap it up yet. Place a third stick on top of these two sticks, right in the middle. Now you can wrap the tape around all three. Do at least two revolutions of the tape. Make three of these which will form your first triangle.

Step 2:
Make the three lengths into a triangle shape and tape together. Make sure you keep your popsticks on narrow edge not flat whilst you tape them together. Do this process two more times so you have three triangles.
Step 3
Now hold two of the triangles together side by side and tape them only on one side. Lay the remaining triangle down on the table and splitting the legs on the two you taped together slide them right over the one on the table. Tape all the shapes together and your triangles will form a stand.

Step 4:
To build the arm of the catapult. Lay three popsticks end to end. Then lay four more on top of them and a further three on top again. You now have a pile of three. Now tape them. Then trim of the two ends that are sticking out. Tape your bottle top to the arm about one inch from the end to leave room to press the arm down. Tape if firmly so it is nice and strong

Step 5:
Wrap one end of the rubber band around the catapult arm just under the cup and tape it firmly in place.

Step 6:

Using a couple of pieces of tape connect the other end of the catapult arm to the place where the three triangles meet. This is a bit tricky to do but try and secure firmly. It must be able to move freely.
Lastly wrap the other end of the rubber band around the top of the catapult and tape it firmly in place. And you should now be ready to use your home-made catapult. Good luck.

If you would like to share your ideas, thoughts or visions for what a Roaring Autumn might mean for you, we would love to hear from you.

For more on how the Golden Hill School and parent community find ways to welcome in the season’s change Click here

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