Making a catapult with a child is extremely rewarding because it covers so many different creative areas. It is first of all a great hands-on type project with the added dimension of doing something when it is completed. This makes it a great creative toy where you can think up lots of little games you can use it for. Finally, catapult making is a great way to introduce engineering skills and history lessons to a child. And this kind of a project is perfectly scalable in that you can tailor the type of project to the age of the child. You also get the bonus of it being a fun project for you too. Go ahead and have some fun!
A great mid-level project, which takes a bit of woodworking, is a tabletop sized catapult. A project like this takes an assortment of wood pieces, some sturdy rubber bands, and the axle from an old toy car. It also takes some wood glue or screws and nails. This type of project is very rewarding and I recommend it for children over the age of ten. It is also a project that will take most of a Saturday to make. But by the end of the day you should be firing it off.
The children can use their imagination and decorate the soda bottle as they wish. They can use markers, feathers, glitter glue and even foam shapes if they like. Sequins and sparkles are also a big hit with the girls.
Books and magazines are other places to find good ideas and plans for working with wood. Used bookstores and even yard sales will often have books on woodworking and companies that make tools also have free plans for projects. One of the interesting projects offered for do it yourself woodworkers is to make a planter box for flowers or a herb garden. This is a fairly simple project but it will be used for years to come. Perhaps the first project that the woodworker makes after starting is to make his own workbench or worktable. These plans are easy and can be found to fit many different sizes, that is one reason they are highly requested on websites.
For younger children a Popsicle stick catapult is a perfect project to make. It is small, easy to manage, and uses materials that children are familiar with. Seven sticks, a small piece of paper, a rubber band, and some masking tape are all that you need. You can then expand this project into any variety of tabletop games where children compete by sending small paper balls into or at various targets while keeping score.
Be patient. If your kid doesn’t strike the nail properly the first time, don’t take the work away from them. Practice and stimulate.
A good practice before starting any wood project, is to teach your child how to hold a hammer and nail, or how to use a saw properly. Let them play around with small pieces of wood. Tell them to make a sword for instance, or a simple airplane. Both are cross-shaped, and with some children’s fantasy they will turn out to be really cool.
If you are just starting out, you don’t need to use power tools. Basic tools like saw and hammer are all you’ll need for simple woodworking projects. But once you get the hang of things and you can foresee yourself building more in the future, then, an investment in power tools would definitely make you do wonders with wood.
There’s nothing more fulfilling than building furniture with wood project plans. At least for me, there isn’t. And if you’re someone who immensely enjoy woodworking, I’m sure you’d agree with me too.
Now punch two holes near the top edge on either side of the bottle using a hole punch. These will be where the handles of the basket will go through. Once these two tasks are complete, the children are now ready to make their craft.