The use of catapults dates back thousands of years. First used by the ancient Chinese in 4000 BC, then later by the Romans and the Ancient Greeks, these catapults were giant ballistic, stone-hurling weapons that were very efficient at taking out an enemy’s fortification in just a few hits! Although the design of a catapult varies, if you want to know how to make a miniature catapult, it is easy to make a basic workable model out of household objects. Keep reading to learn how!
Tips on How to Make a Miniature Catapult with Elastic Bands and Craft Sticks
It is important to point out that even a tiny weapon can cause damage to adults, kids, pets, or even property, so you need to be responsible and not construct anything that could cause any injuries. You should be careful to use only soft ammunition too. (We recommend using marshmallows as “ammo.”)
What You Need:
- 8 craft sticks
- 8 elastic bands
- Plastic teaspoon
- Mini marshmallows
First, bundle six of the craft sticks together, and fix them together with two of the elastic bands.
Take two of the remaining sticks and fasten an elastic band around one end, so that the opposite end looks like a pincer. Slide the bundle of sticks into this pincer and criss cross another elastic band over the structure. Now the top craft stick is springy and bounces free from the rest of the structure.
Finally, fix the plastic spoon to the top craft stick by using elastic bands wrapped tightly around the craft stick and spoon so that it is firmly in place. Now your miniature catapult is ready to launch. You will need lightweight ammo, such as buttons, marshmallow, or balls of paper. Just add the ammo to the spoon, pull back the launch mechanism (i.e. the spoon and the craft stick), and let it go!
If you want to know how to make a miniature catapult that is more sophisticated, there are some fantastic medieval-inspired catapult kits available to buy. Many of these are fully workable models based on real examples of classic warfare or history.
One we particularly like is the National Geographic Da Vinci’s Invention Catapult, which is based on Leonardo da Vinci’s original design. This model is made of wood and can send objects up to 15 ft.
Alternatively, the Abong Tabletop Laser Cut Trebuchet kit is a sturdy catapult that you assemble yourself and is perfect for medievalists to display or for children to learn about science.
The Hog Wild Toys Air Strike Catapult is also a lot of fun. This plastic kit is based on a medieval design and shoots soft plastic spiky balls made of foam. According to the advertisement, these can reach up to 40 feet in distance.
Learning how to make a miniature catapult teaches you about history and science, so it is very educational for children. Whether you go for the basic craft stick and elastic band home made model, or buy a model, the scientific principles are the same. Even better, it is a lot of fun – especially if you use marshmallows for ammunition!