Friday, April 15, 2016

M is for Marshmallow Catapult

Man, oh man, it's "M" already!

My friend Ivy at Uncharted provided me with today's Pinterest Challenge. Here's the pin:

For the most part, these are all household items, and had I only made ONE catapult, I could have done this project WITHOUT BUYING ONE SINGLE SOLITARY SUPPLY. But how much fun would it have been to build a catapult just for me?

No fun. No fun at all.

What I DO have is 15 pre-kindergarten students, and since the mom who wrote these directions said her four year old was able to make one, it seemed like the perfect activity for a Fun Friday morning at preschool.

The supplies required were wooden skewers, large marshmallows, mini marshmallows, thin rubberbands, tape and plastic spoons. 

(By the way, wooden skewers have deadly points on them. I learned this last year during the A to Z Challenge. Fool me twice, shame on me, so I handled them very carefully and snipped the points off before I did anything else.) 

I pre-taped plastic spoons to the skewers, and that was the extent of my preparation for this project. I figured the kids and I would learn how to make catapults simultaneously. The only snag with this is that in NOT reading all the instructions, coupled with my limited math skills, I didn't notice that each catapult needed 7 skewers, and I maybe didn't have enough. Or enough WITH me, as I had a partial package at home (the ones that nearly killed me last year). Fortunately, my daughter was home from school for the morning (don't ask) and not only brought them to me, but also stayed to help with catapult construction.

The supplies.

I took the kids to a room in the church building with a tile floor (always a thinker) and the kids stood at two long tables to build their catapults.

Both my assistant teacher and my daughter went on record as saying they didn't think the catapults would work; they thought they would be too flimsy. I told the kids if they didn't work, we would just eat marshmallows, and they were cool with that. I will confess I was a little concerned whether the kids would be able to assemble the catapults themselves, and the three of us would be putting together 15 catapults, but at least half of them did it with no help, and the others did it with very little help, so yay, pre-k!


The first step was making a triangle.

This part was a little trickier.

Adding the skewer with the spoon
looped through a rubber band.

Ready. Aim. FIRE!

The kids had a ball shooting marshmallows up in the air, over the heads of the other kids at the table. We made occasional repairs, but for the most part, the catapults held up pretty well. The kids carried their catapults back to the classroom, ate the leftover marshmallows, and got to take their catapults home.

The only downside to this project was that the catapults were fragile, and after the kids left, we speculated that using stale marshmallows might have worked better than using fresh squishy ones.

Guess what? When I read the rest of the instructions about five minutes ago, I read that it works best to make them one day and use them the next, after the marshmallows have dried out a bit. Oops.

Pinterest win. Definite Pinterest win!


  1. wow really neat - but i don't think they are limited to pre-k I kind of have a feeling that certain middle schoolers would like them too LOL

    a wonderful win

    1. Pre-k was the low end of the age range. Your kids are a much better age for it. Emma played with it when she got home.

  2. This sounds great! I may try it with my older grandkids or even as an after dinner activity at the next family dinner.

    Finding Eliza

    1. Once we figured out how to get the actual arm of the catapult in the right place, it was easy and fun! You definitely should do it at a dinner! Prizes for hitting someone in the forehead with a marshmallow! They are so small and soft that you really can't feel them hit you.

  3. These look like so much fun-- and would make for a great rainy day project.