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A Detailed Project to Build a Catapult for Kids

Fatima Rangwala Apr 29, 2019
Do you have a science school project coming up soon at school? Opt for making a catapult project for kids and see how exciting and brainy things turn out to be in the process. Read on...
If you bring up the instance of building a catapult device in today's century, firstly, it would sound very orthodox. And secondly, there are going to be very less applications in which this device would fit best.
Back in the Middle Ages the catapult was a tool which was popularly and widely used for launching heavy projectiles and boulders during the wars.
Although it has been a very useful tool for people in primitive times, why the discussion now? Well, the topic is elicited because constructing a catapult is one of the greatest activities kids could build as their science school projects.
This activity is quite flexible and suits any age group from 5 to 25 years. Now, in this case, some elders might think why would they want their children to take up such an activity which can hardly be practiced in day-to-day life. For people who think this, catapult projects for kids are not static.
One gets to learn, explore and practice a lot of basic principles in physics and engineering when it comes to actually picking up tools and building this handcraft. Moreover, if one looks at it from a historical point of view, they also learn a lot about the primitive siege engines and the era of Middle Ages too.
To undertake a project of building a catapult, one needs to be sure with his/her level of confidence and possessed skills; all of which eventually shapes up with the age factor.
Once all of this is clear, the catapult project can be attempted, which again is segregated into three different types of projects, Popsicle Stick Catapult, Mid-level and Older-level all well suited for younger and older children.
The concept and goal of the device is going to remain the same, just the basic categories of the device changes as the level of the project advances. To catch with some general information on the three, take a look here.

Types of Catapults

  • The Catapult: It's a regular engine which is used to hurl heavy stones and missiles.
  • The Ballista: A large device in the form of a crossbow.
  • Trebuchet: This device is a light weighted beam consisting of a sling and heavy projectiles.
These are large-scale projects which need heavy employment and sophisticated tools to set it up. Information here focuses on building catapult projects for kids on a small scale platform. It's important for children to feel comfortable while progressing with this countertop project and also working with certain tools.

How to Build a Catapult

For constructing a tabletop catapult device for a science school fair project, the information given here teaches the simplest ways to know how to build a catapult in a few easy steps.

Required Tools

  • Dowels (2 sizes)
  • Hook screws
  • Hanger
  • Glue gun and hot glue sticks
  • Nails and screws
  • Wood glue
  • Screwdriver
  • Scraps of wood pieces
  • Regular saw
  • Hammer
  • Rubber band


⇨ Step 1: Arrange for a heavy block of wood which wouldn't tip over when weight would be added to it. Use this medium-sized piece of wood as the base for the catapult.

⇨ Step 2: Once the base is formed, nail the two length of wood blocks to either sides of the box. All they have to be is longer than the base and adequate in length.
⇨ Step 3: To the top portion of the wood, drill a hole on which your dowel would fit and rotate smoothly.

⇨ Step 4: Now the dowel must be cut into measures of ½ inch so that they can be inserted into the holes appropriately.
⇨ Step 5: Using the wood glue, glue the wood blocks at the closing of the dowel so that it remains in a fixed position.
⇨ Step 6: Once the dowel is fixed in position, drill a small hole in the middle of the dowel through which another smaller dowel would be inserted through and through. That smaller dowel would dish out as a launching arm.
⇨ Step 7: It's time to slide in the smaller dowel, but making sure it extends to the base with half of it jutting above the larger dowel. The moment the smaller dowel slips in, glue it with wood glue and fasten it's position.
⇨ Step 8: Take a hook and screw it to the large dowel right in front of the base of the catapult.

⇨ Step 9: Get hold of a rubber band and wrap it around every hook on the device to add the extra tension to it.
⇨ Step 10: This is the last step of your catapult project. You can now launch your catapult loading it with some projectiles and stuff.
In the cup of the catapult place small things like plastic bottles, small-sized stones, paper balls and so on and pull it's arm in a backward position. The arm must be drawn back a little away from the hook so that it creates a tension and gets tight. That's the right time to launch the projectiles for a fire.
This is a simple homemade project, really easy and fun to make either as a pastime or a sincere project. Moreover, the chances for kids to expand their imagination and grow deeper into the skillful world of art 'n' craft is really high! Good Luck!