So, I occasionally have moments as a mom where I think “that was perfect. I’m a genius.” Like the time I got the child who’d been awake screaming for two hours with an ear infection to settle down and go to sleep by stuffing a little chocolate in his mouth. Or when I made the illustrated cookie recipe so my preschooler could follow along on the recipe when we make cookies. Now, the time I tried to put said preschooler to bed at 8 pm one night and he asked “but when do I get to have dinner?” was not one of those times. And the time the tooth fairy forgot to come for the third night in a row was also not one of those times… So, alright, the times I do feel like a genius mom are few and far between, but the day I came up with these marshmallow catapults was one of them. It was spring break and we were in desparate need of something fun to do that 1) didn’t cost much and 2) wasn’t too complicated. Inspiration hit and these simple kid-constructed catapults were born. Keep reading for photo tutorial.
Seeing as it’s summer break (or will be soon), I thought I’d share this kid-friendly craft. All you need to make a catapult is: 4 large marshmallows, 7 bamboo skewers, a thin rubber band, a plastic spoon, and masking tape.
Construction is simple enough that my 4-yr old was able to make his own. The older kids spent a while making “mods” to their catapult, reinforcing the joints with more masking tape, etc. Here’s the process:
Kids can play with their catapults immediately after construction, but they’ll need to be fairly gentle so they don’t tear the marshmallows. Being gentle can be difficult for kids, so I recommend you construct the catapults one day, then let them sit out overnight so the marshmallows will stiffen up and become much stronger, allowing for rougher play and stronger launching. We taped a target in the middle of our dining room table and took turns trying to hit it:
I even made a bunch of these the day before my oldest son’s 12th birthday party, then sent all the party attendees outside with them. We used hula hoops for targets out on the back patio. The boys at the party had a blast sending small candies across the yard.
Anything pretty small works fine as ammunition – mini marshmallows, cheerios, mike&ike’s, etc.
One last note – the skewers do have a pointy end which can be fairly sharp, so if you are making these with younger kids you might want to snip the point off with kitchen shears.
I hope this helps you keep everyone busy this summer – I have a few more fun kid craft ideas coming in the next few weeks.
Follow It’s Always Autumn:
LINKING Monday: Skip to My Lou | Brassy Apple | Craft-o-Maniac Tuesday: Tip Junkie | Sugar Bee Crafts | Not JUST a Housewife | Homework Today’s Assignment: Be Inspired | Shwin and Shwin | Today’s Creative Blog | Naptime Creations | Chef in Training | The Winthrop Chronicles | Lil Luna Wednesday: Handy Man, Crafty Woman | Southern Lovely | Sew Much Ado | SNAP | Someday Crafts | The NY Melrose Family | Printabelle | Simply Kierste Thursday: Somewhat Simple | House of Hepworths | Momnivore’s Dilemma | The Shabby Creek Cottage | Yesterday on Tuesday | The 36th Avenue Friday: Chic on a Shoestring Decorating | The Shabby Nest | Stuff and Nonsense | It’s a Hodgepodge Life | At The Picket Fence | 504 Main | Whipperberry Weekend: Tatertots and Jello | Little Inspiration | I Heart Naptime