Have you heard of the 28 Days of Hands-On STEM Activities for Kids blog hop that’s running all this month? We’re tickled pink to be joining in. There’s 4 weeks of fun science, with each week revolving around a different theme. This week’s theme is STEM Goes Green, and we’re sharing a fun environmentally-friendly science project that kids can make, using upcycled materials that you can find at home. Bonus that it takes only a few minutes to make, so the kids can start having fun straight away.
To make an easy DIY catapult, you will need:
- a sturdy cardboard tube
- a large hair elastic
- a wooden spoon
- a projectile of your choice
- safety glasses (optional)
Keep a look out in your recycling bin for a sturdy cardboard tube. (The one we used is made from much thicker cardboard than your standard toilet paper roll.) If you can’t find a sturdy cardboard tube, you could also use another cylindrical object, like a rolling pin.
Loop the hair elastic over the cardboard tube twice. Find the spot where the hair elastic crossed over and makes a X. With the wooden spoon perpendicular to the cardboard tube, insert the handle of the wooden spoon under the X, and slide through until approximately half way.
And now you have a basic lever catapult! The next step is to find a projectile. A scrunched up piece of recycled paper, held together with an old elastic band, makes a great soft projectile for indoors. (Save this idea for when you’re next stuck inside on a rainy day!)
If the weather’s nice and you’d prefer to head outside, then nature items like pine cones and other seed pods make fabulous projectiles because:
a) nature is cool, and
b) you don’t need to worry too much if you fling one over the neighbours fence.
Safety glasses are a good idea too. They protect precious eyes (and my kids think they are doing ‘real science’ when they wear them). We have these ones.
I’ll happily warn you though – if your kids are like mine, they’ll want to do this activity over and over and over again….
Many thanks to Playschool for the inspiring this activity!
28 Days of Hands On STEMThis post is part of the 28 Days of Hands-On STEM Activities for Kids blog hop. Click through to find a whole bunch of fun STEM ideas from dozens of bloggers worldwide. Enjoy!