A tabletop-style catapult sits flat on a hard surface and launches small, lightweight items into the air with an arc-shaped trajectory. You can play a game with the catapult by setting out cups or other targets on the tabletop and trying to hit them with the launched objects.
To make a tabletop catapult, you need seven craft sticks, four rubber bands, a bottle cap and glue.
Construct the catapult as follows:
- Glue the bottle cap, flat-side down, close to the end of one craft stick. Set this aside so that the glue can dry while you assemble the base of the catapult.
- Arrange five craft sticks in a stack. Secure the sticks together by wrapping a rubber band tightly around each end of the stack.
- Place the craft stick with the cap glued to it on top of another craft stick. Wrap a rubber band tightly around the two craft sticks at the opposite end to the bottle cap.
- Open the two sticks of the launcher to form a V-shape with the bottle cap facing up. Slide the base (the stack of five craft sticks) into the V, perpendicular to the launcher. Wedge it in so that the launcher sits midway along the base. Secure the launcher and base in position by wrapping a rubber band around the point where they intersect. To use the tabletop catapult, place a small item, such as a mini pom-pom, small ball of foil or a dried bean, in the bottle cap. Hold the base steady on the table with one hand, and with the other, press the launcher down toward the table. Release the launcher to send the projectile through the air.
Activity by Haley Smith, Schofield Site Coordinator
Photo Credit: Rochelle Park Free Public Library (NJ) – www.rplibrary.org