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Catapults! Models, History, Unit Study Activities, And Kits!

Updated on October 02, 2014
Homemade catapult from kit
Homemade catapult from kit | Source

A Fun Unit On Catapults

A catapult is a device that flings or hurls an object a long distance, usually with great force. Catapults date back to around 399 BC and were primarily used for destroying or creating an opening in castle walls or the walls of fortified cities to allow the invading army to enter. At times, they were also used for hurling flaming missiles and other items over the castle or city walls.

In the free catapult unit study on this page, I've included several lessons and activities about building, experimenting with, and understanding levers and catapults. A short history of catapults and a brief description of the major categories of catapults are also provided. If you are interested in purchasing a catapult kit, or trying your hand at building a catapult model with materials you have around the house, you'll find some recommended models below!

I hope you find this page interesting, and have fun making some catapults of your own!


Catapults!

Children can learn history, physics, measurement, critical thinking, and more by studying, making, and experimenting with catapults.

Plus, making and playing with catapults is FUN!

Catapult Unit Activities

Catapult related activities covering a variety of subject areas

Most of the following catapult activities could be done in either a homeschool co-op setting, a regular classroom, or at home. My son and I did some of these in our homeschool co-op, some at a park with a friend, and others at home.

Feel free to pick and choose those lessons and activities that meet the needs of you or your children. It certainly isn't necessary to do them all!

Lesson 1: Simple Machines

Understanding how catapults work! Most catapults have levers, and a lever is a simple machine!

Simple machines help us do work by magnifying or changing the direction of a force.

Here are the 6 simple machines.

1. Pulley

2. Wedge

3. Inclined Plane

4. Wheel and Axle

5. Lever

6. Screw (which is really a type of inclined plane!)

Lesson 1:

MiKids.com's Lesson on Simple Machines gives a good description of the six types of simple machines and also provides plenty of photos! (Visit the links under "Activity" on that page to find the photos!)

Introduce the child or children to the different types of simple machines, discussing the use of each one. Next give the child(ren) some simple machines (screwdriver, tongs, etc.), or photos of simple machines, and have them sort them, putting the levers in one pile, the inclined planes in another, and so on.

As an alternate activity, allow the child(ren) to walk around and find simple machines and identify them for you! If they are having trouble trying to find a certain type of simple machine, give them some hints.

Lesson 2A: Exploring Levers

A Physical Science Lesson

Provide the student(s) with a variety of tools to use, such as rulers, yard sticks, plastic spoons, pencils, and fun noodles (the kind that you play with in the pool), and asked them to select one to use. Next give each student a marshmallow, asking them not to eat them! Place a box on the floor a few feet away, and instruct the kids to try to use their tools to fling their marshmallows into the box. Here's the rule: One end of their tool must remain on the table at all times. It isn't necessary to use the word, "Levers" with the students yet. Simply let them explore what their "tool" can do.

After trying it a few times, you may wish to allow them to trade tools and try again. Finish the lesson by allowing the children to discuss which tools and techniques worked the best, and why.

The kids in our homeschool co-op had such fun with this activity!

Learning about levels from being on a large balance board.
Learning about levels from being on a large balance board. | Source

Lesson 2B: A giant balance board is a great way to experience the power of a lever first hand!

While having fun on this large balance board, we talked about the fulcrum and experienced first hand what a lever was like!

On this large lever, we did various experiments, such as exploring where everyone needed to stand to balance the board if you had two people on one side, and one on the other. What happens if there are four people on one side, and one slowly walks up the ramp towards the other side? What if everyone starts in the middle, and one person walks to one side? What if everyone starts on one end, and one by one they walk toward the other side? When will the board be balanced? When will the board tip?

Granted, most people won't have access to a large balance board like this one, but you might be able to explore the same concepts by sitting at different places on a seesaw (be careful where you sit so you don't get pinched or hurt).

Lesson 3: Creating a miniature working catapult ....without directions!

Critical Thinking, Art, and Physics Lessons All Rolled Into One!

Too often, we give information to children and expect them just to memorize it. We often forget to encourage them to think for themselves! In our homeschool co-op, I teach a class on critical thinking for middle schoolers and high schoolers. Every week I give them challenges to complete without directions! The youth often work together in teams of two or three, in order to learn team work and communication as well. After all, as adults, won't most of them have to work with others? Together they plan how they will complete the challenge, and then they set out to do it. Sometimes they have to revise their plans as they go, but that's all part of the learning!

The lesson below is one we did in our critical thinking class. The students absolutely loved it!! And I honestly did not have to give them any directions at all as to how to make their catapults! I love watching them in action and observing how very creative and intelligent these youth really are!

Making a catapult, without directions, during a critical thinking class.
Making a catapult, without directions, during a critical thinking class. | Source

Here a team of two is creating a catapult via their own plans.

(We did this lesson on Halloween, so one of the boys is wearing his Ninja costume!)

This activity can be done individually, or in groups of two to three. It is probably more fun, as well as more educational, if there are at least two catapults built (although they can be built by the same person, or mom or dad can join the fun, if you don't have other children to participate in the activity).

Gather a variety of materials (drinking straws, rulers, plastic spoons, rubber bands, string, popsicle sticks, small paper cups, a roll of masking tape per team, paper clips, a few index cards, scissors, etc., plus marshmallows as the rocks). Each student or team will make and test their own catapult.

Hint: When I do activities of this nature at our homeschool co-op, I like to prepare gallon size ziplock bags in advance with all the supplies each team needs. That way you can simply hand each team a bag, and won't have to waste class time dividing up the supplies!

Since this is a lesson in critical thinking, don't give the kids instructions as to how to build their catapults. Allow them to come up with their own plans!

I recommend giving them about 20 to 30 minutes to design, and redesign if necessary, their catapults. Allow them to use as many or as few of the materials that you've provided as they'd like. Each catapult should be unique! When time is up, allow them to to launch their catapults, one by one. Perhaps each team should get three tries?

Which catapult can shoot their marshmallow the farthest? What is it about that catapult that seems to make it so effective?

If you place a box on the floor, can any of the catapults make a "hole in one" with their marshmallow? Which catapult seems to have the best aim? Why?

Here's one of the kid-designed models that a team of three youth in our homeschool co-op made.

In doing this lesson, kids will gain a better understanding of the workings of catapults, and will learn critical thinking and teamwork skills (by coming up with their design and working together), and physics (experimenting with what needs to be changed in order to get the marshmallow to fly farther). Plus, each catapult will be a piece of art!

Our Catapult
Our Catapult | Source

Lesson 4: Building A Catapult Model From A Kit - And doing experiments with it!

Although making your own catapult without any directions (in the lesson above) is a wonderful introduction to catapults, a sturdier, more professional catapult will allow you to do further experimenting. There are many kits available for building a catapult. The one we purchased came with everything needed to make a catapult, including small blocks of wood, wood glue, written directions, a few other small items, and soft bags to launch once you got the catapult built. We built the catapult in about an hour and then allowed it to dry overnight. (The instructions said to allow it to dry 12 hours.)

Using the catapult for experiments and activities:

The next day the whole family got involved in experimenting with the catapult.

1. We tried a variety of objects as the missiles (cotton balls, marshmallows, rubber balls of different sizes and weights, etc), guessing which one would go the farthest, and then experimenting to find out.

2. The kit came with plenty of extra blocks of wood, so we experimented with adding more wooden blocks at the base to force the lever arm to stop sooner, in order to find out what angle worked the best for our catapult.

Did 5 blocks (which causes the lever arm to stop sooner) have a different outcome than one block (which allowed the lever arm to go all the way up)? Did increasing the number to 8 blocks change things even more?

The target that comes with the catapult kit.
The target that comes with the catapult kit. | Source

3. The catapult kit came with a target to place on the floor, and we had lots of fun trying to get our beanbags (that came with the kit) to land on the target after being shot from the catapult. We also tried to get small rubber balls (that we already had on hand) that were shot from the catapult to knock down wooden blocks (included with the kit) we'd set up like dominoes!

An Excellent Catapult Kit! - This is the catapult kit we purchased and used for our experiments.

This is the kit we purchased, built, and used for our experiments. It worked out well! The catapult is sturdy and was fairly easy to make! Elementary aged kids will likely need some help, but middle school and high schoolers can probably build the kit with very little help. (At times it was helpful to have one person hold the wood while another glued it.)

By the way, I noticed a customer review on Amazon about it taking four days to build the kit. That really isn't necessary. My son built it in about an hour, and then allowed the glue to dry overnight. We didn't find it to be necessary to let the glue dry overnight BETWEEN each step...only at the end. After completing one section that needed gluing, he put it aside while working on the next section. By the time the second section was done, the first was sufficiently dry. This was our results, and of course yours may differ....but we had no problems whatsoever, and found this kit to be superb!

More Catapult Kits

Amazon has quite a few catapult kits for sale. Here are four of them. I don't have any experience with the four listed here, as the one we bought is the one mentioned above. If I were to buy another kit, it'd probably be one of the Trebuchet kits, simply because that's a different kind than the others we've built so far.



Pathfinders Medieval Catapult Wooden Kit
Pathfinders Medieval Catapult Wooden Kit

Just add scissors, glue, and an appreciation for the art and physics behind these medieval siege engines. These catapult models are high quality. They can hurl a small ball more than 15 feet in 1 throw. They have adjustable pads that change the trajectory angle. Experiment with the adjustable pads as you aim for greater accuracy. Solid wood pieces are pre-cut, and pre-drilled. The catapult is easy to assemble and can usually be completed in 1 to 2 hours.

 
Midwest Products Catapult Model Activity Kit
Midwest Products Catapult Model Activity Kit

This catapult kit is not only easy to build, but also can be put together quickly! Great for shooting marshmallows or other small items!

 

Miniature Ballista Kit - The Ultimate Roman Artillery Weapon

Miniature Ballista Kit - Wooden Desktop Warfare Ballista
Miniature Ballista Kit - Wooden Desktop Warfare Ballista

The parts in this tabletop ballista kit interlock to make putting it together easy!

 

Contraptions Trebuchet - This catapult was made by the same company that made the catapult we purchased and used.

You can change the hurl of the Contraptions Trebuchet by altering the counterweight. Experiment to see how you can change the distance the ball travels, and then try to use your trebuchet to knock down small planks (included) with the launched balls.

trebuchet
trebuchet
MindWare Trebuchet by Keva
MindWare Trebuchet by Keva

This authentic trebuchet kit is another catapult kit in the same series as the one my son made and enjoyed!

 

Catapult Kit - Comes With Materials to Make 2 Identical Catapults! Great fun for two people!! - To add to the role playing fun, the kit also come with 5 miniatu

Catapult Kit
Catapult Kit

Have fun building your two catapults and then shooting one another with marshmallows!

 

The History Of Catapults

Following this brief overview of the history and types of catapults, I'll tell you about some more catapult activities you can try!

Lesson 5: Learn About The History and Types of Catapults

Pitched Battles and Sieges

In ancient times, regions often invaded other regions in order to acquire their land or wealth. Everyone wanted what someone else had! Soldiers used pitched battles and sieges to conquer others and take their resources.

Pitched battles took place on a battlefield and involved hand to hand combat, skirmishes (small battles), and frontal assaults. A variety of weapons were used in these battles, such as daggers, battle-axes, bows and arrows, clubs, and spears.

Sieges, on the other hand, took place when one army was behind the walls of a castle, fortress, or walled city. Different techniques were used to conquer the castle. In a blockade, the invading army surrounded the castle to stop supplies from getting in. Sometimes, though, those within the castle had more supplies than the invading army and could thus hold out for longer! Other times, threats or bribes were used in an attempt to get the other side to surrender. Spies were used sometimes as well.

If these methods didn't work, the invading army might be forced to attack the castle itself. This was no easy task, as the stone walls of the castle were several feet thick! One strategy for conquering the castle was digging tunnels under the castle wall. Another strategy involved removing enough dirt from under the wall to cause it to collapse. Obviously, both of these methods took quite some time! Yet another method made use of tall movable towers. The towers, with ladders inside, would be rolled up to the wall and a bridge would then be lowered down the other side. The soldiers could then easily and quickly climb the tower, cross over the wall, and run down the bridge!

Other techniques for conquering a castle involved blasting the castle wall with various types of missiles! That's where catapults came in!

The first catapults looked quite similar to large crossbows, and used much of the same technology.

Tension Catapults

The earliest catapults, dating back to around 399 BCE, were tension catapults. Tension catapults shot heavy darts (called bolts) and worked by bending back a bow that was usually made of animal horn or wood. Although they were powerful, their disadvantages included the time it took to load and fire them, as well as their large and heavy size.

The gastrophete is a type of tension catapult.
The gastrophete is a type of tension catapult. | Source

Torsion Catapults


Around 340 BCE, torsion catapults came into use. Torsion catapults used springs made from coils of rope as their power. Some types also had throwing arms on either side of the catapult. Ballistas, Mangonels, and Onagers are all types of torsion catapults.

Torsion Catapults
Torsion Catapults | Source
Torsion Catapults
Torsion Catapults | Source

As the winch is turned on this torsion catapult, the bowstring is pulled back, which pulls back the throwing arms, thus tightening the ropes. When a pin is pulled out, the ropes are released, and the bolt is shot forward.

Gravity Catapults (Trebuchet)

Gravity catapults, such as the trebuchet, first began to be used by the Chinese armies around 600 to 900 CE, but didn't enter widespread usage until around 1200 CE. In gravity catapults heavy weights were attached to one end of a lever arm. When the weights fell, the other end of the lever swung quickly up, throwing a rock or other item(s) in a high arc toward the castle wall.

 Trebuchet
Trebuchet | Source


In this drawing of a trebuchet, a sling is currently holding the rock or other ammunition in a raised position. The side of the arm with the sling on it will be pulled down, raising the weight on the other end of the arm. When the weight is dropped, the sling side of the arm will fly up in an arc, releasing the contents of the sling and hurling them through the air.


Traction Catapults

Around 800 CE, traction catapults became popular. These catapults were more like our idea of a catapult today in that they had levers which were pulled down and then released to shoot rocks long distances.

Roman Catapults

Roman Catapults
Roman Catapults | Source

Ballista Bolts

Ballista bolts
Ballista bolts | Source


Compared to the stones (which could be 200 pounds or more!) thrown by the onagers, trebuchets, or mangonels, these Ballista bolts were relatively light weight!

Catapult Use During WWI

Catapult Use During WWI
Catapult Use During WWI | Source

During World War I, hand grenades were launched across "no man's land" into the trenches of the enemies via catapults.


Did you know that catapults are also sometimes used to launch aircraft?

Airplane being launched from catapult.
Airplane being launched from catapult. | Source

In this photograph, taken in 1943, an amphibian aircraft has just been launched from a catapult on board the HMS Bermuda.

*Please note that this is not meant to be a complete and detailed account of war techniques and weapons during ancient and modern times. Whole books have been written on the subject. This section is meant to be just a brief overview. For more info, please read a good book on catapults, such as The Art of the Catapult, or visit one or more of the following websites.

Catapult: A History - Interested in finding out more about the history of catapults?

Catapult: A History (Weapons in History)
Catapult: A History (Weapons in History)

If you'd like to find out more about the history and technology of catapults, this book would be an excellent choice!

 

Would you rather learn about catapults or learn with catapults?

Would you rather receive a book about catapults or a catapult kit?

See results

Books About Catapults - The Art Of The Catapult

The Art of the Catapult: Build Greek Ballistae, Roman Onagers, English Trebuchets, and More Ancient Artillery
The Art of the Catapult: Build Greek Ballistae, Roman Onagers, English Trebuchets, and More Ancient Artillery

This book not only has a collection of plans for building catapults, but also provides a fairly detailed history about war techniques and weapons (especially catapults) during ancient times.

 

Greek and Roman Siege Machinery 399 BC-AD 363

Greek and Roman Siege Machinery 399 BC-AD 363 (New Vanguard)
Greek and Roman Siege Machinery 399 BC-AD 363 (New Vanguard)

This nicely illustrated 48 page book traces the development of Greek and Roman siege machines.

 

What Brings You To My Article On Catapults?

Tell Me About Yourself

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Lesson 6: Learn about different types of catapults by building small replicas

The directions for these small catapults are all available for free online.

1. Directions for making the Teeny-Tiny Catapult

To make the "Teeny Tiny catapult," you'll need:

10 popsicle sticks, a ruler, a long rubber band, a pencil, a roll of masking tape, and scissors.


Homemade Ballista Catapult
Homemade Ballista Catapult | Source

2. Build a Ballista Catapult.


A Ballista catapult is a Greek catapult which has two vertical torsion springs (the 2 vertical white ropes on this one).

Pictured here are two different views of the Ballista Catapult we made.
Ballista catapults have a bowstring and throwing arms, and shoot darts, rather than rocks.

Homemade Ballista Catapult with homemade paper dart
Homemade Ballista Catapult with homemade paper dart | Source

To make this Ballista Catapult model, you'll need:

popsicle sticks,

string,

a glue gun and glue sticks

a ruler or measuring tape

For the dart, we rolled a piece of paper and then taped it closed.



Homemade Onager catapult
Homemade Onager catapult | Source
Homemade Onager catapult
Homemade Onager catapult | Source

3. Build an Onager Catapult

Directions for building this Onager Catapult.

Onager catapults use twisted rope to create the force that propels the lever arm forward. Onagers were a type of torsion catapult.




To make this Onager catapult, you'll need popsicle sticks, string, a hot glue gun and glue sticks, a piece of paper, tape, and scissors.


Note: Although it's not as authentic, if you can't get the twisted string to provide enough force, you may wish to wrap a rubber band around the base and twist that instead.


Are you an experienced catapult builder?

Have you built any catapults before?

See results

Another Working Catapult Model - This one can be made in just a few minutes!

You'll need:

A wire hanger

a plastic spoon

two rubber bands

and mini-marshmallows

Just follow the easy direction on the youtube and you'll have your catapult ready to fire in five minutes or less! At the end of the youtube, experiments are suggested for ways you can improve your catapult. Also, a brief lesson on levers is given.

Stomp Rockets, Catapults, and Kaleidoscopes! - 30+ Amazing Science Projects You Can Build for Less than $1

Stomp Rockets, Catapults, and Kaleidoscopes: 30+ Amazing Science Projects You Can Build for Less than $1
Stomp Rockets, Catapults, and Kaleidoscopes: 30+ Amazing Science Projects You Can Build for Less than $1

This kit covers way more than just catapults! Through the activities in this book, you'll discover how many things around you work. You'll learn about electricity and magnetism, sound and light, mechanics, fluids and aerodynamics, how the heart and lungs work, how a toilet works, and more. Included are the directions for building a working model of a human hand (including the muscles, bones, and tendons!), creating a harmonica and flute, and a lot of other things!

 

Backyard Ballistics: Build Potato Cannons, Paper Match Rockets, Cincinnati Fire Kites, Tennis Ball Mortars, and More - Build a tabletop catapult, a spud gun, an

Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction: Build Implements of Spitball Warfare
Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction: Build Implements of Spitball Warfare

Kids, as well as adults who are kids at heart, love this book! What will you build first?

 

Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction: Build Implements of Spitball Warfare - Want to make a clothespin catapult? How about a siege or viking catapult?

Step by step directions are included in this book for creating 35 devices, some of which are slingshots, darts, catapults, minibombs, and combustion shooters.There's a tiny trebuchet you can make with a D-cell battery and paper clips. A small "bomb" you make with a penny and some other things. There's a coin shooter, a simple crossbow, a bow and arrow pen, a water bomb, a matchbox bomb, a clothespin catapult, a siege catapult, a viking catapult, ping pong zooka, and a whole lot more! Optional directions are provided for some of the projects for attaching a laser pointer sight to your device, in order to help improve it's accuracy!

Using homemade catapults to shoot marshmallows at a castle.

Using homemade catapults to launch miniature marshmallows at the castle!
Using homemade catapults to launch miniature marshmallows at the castle! | Source

These are some of the kids in our homeschool co-op having lots of fun while learning too!


What about an extra large homemade catapult? - This was designed and built by some high school students.

Large Homemade Catapult
Large Homemade Catapult | Source

My daughter and some of her high school friends created this large catapult. It involved a great deal of experimenting and redesigning, but they learned a lot from it! They did the entire thing alone, from planning to sawing (with adult supervision) to assembling to testing and redesigning and testing and redesigning, and...well, you get the idea! Their projectile was a tennis ball.

Would you like to see our extra large catapult in action? - This is my son launching the catapult.

My son working the catapult.
My son working the catapult. | Source
On your mark, get ready,.....
On your mark, get ready,..... | Source
Go!
Go! | Source

One of my readers left me a comment in my guestbook about the snow. He thought we were shooting balls of snow with the catapult! Yes, there is snow here and there on the ground in these photos, but it was a tennis ball we were propelling down our driveway with the catapult! Although snowballs would have been fun, the snow we had that day wasn't the type for making good snowballs.

Designing and Building Catapults Are A Lot Of Fun! - And so is using them once they're built!

What's more fun for you?

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© 2011 JanieceTobey

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    • JanieceTobey profile image
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      JanieceTobey 3 years ago

      @annalopez16: Hi Annalopez, I'm guessing you are talking about the large catapult I have photos of near the bottom of the page? I'm sorry, but I don't have any measurements of it, and don't have access to the catapult to get any right now. Hope you are able to recreate it anyway. Have fun!

    • profile image

      annalopez16 3 years ago

      I will like to recreate this catapult, but we will like to have the measurements to have an idea how much material we will need.

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 3 years ago

      This looks like tons of fun. I'm going to bookmark this page for future reference.

    • profile image

      Doc_Holliday 3 years ago

      At school, a catapult was one of the many things that my Irish teacher built for lessons in Latin. Great fun from an outstanding teacher.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      Good stuff. Getting ideas for a school prject my son will have to do next year.

      This is a great idea!

    • Michelllle profile image

      Michelllle 3 years ago

      Super ideas! Looks like you had a load of fun making this lens.

    • profile image

      Primomotore 4 years ago

      Catapults are amazing!Using it for a school projects is a way to provide food for minds, much more intriguing that other stuff,so many things involved that makes you think a lot.

    • The One Stop Shop profile image

      The One Stop Shop 4 years ago

      This lens brings back memories of the time we were assigned to build catapults in shop class. It was a lot of fun and I think it's a great way for kids to learn more about mechanics and how momentum works.

    • najoslin profile image

      najoslin 4 years ago

      As a artilleryman I love catapults as they are part of my professions heritage! As a father of three kids I have built a couple of catapults for school projects and they were all tremendous fun - I liked and the kids loved it. Great Lens - thanks for writing!

    • kabbalah lm profile image

      kabbalah lm 4 years ago

      Excellent lens. Blessings

    • Babbages profile image

      Babbages 4 years ago

      Fantastic lens, great work!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      You are going to create the next generation of Punkin Chunkers. Yea!

    • Bill Armstrong profile image

      Bill Armstrong 4 years ago from Valencia, California

      Very nice and very informant! thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      john9229 4 years ago

      Great Lens! Thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      chickie99 4 years ago

      i'm a big roman toy soldier collector.

      great lens!!!

    • profile image

      anitabreeze 4 years ago

      I was drawn to this lens because my son built both a catapult and a ballista in our backyard a couple years ago. I will show him this lens, its really great!

    • mrknowitall54321 profile image

      mrknowitall54321 4 years ago

      This is a great activity for kids, and a great chance to learn too!

    • HardyGirl profile image

      HardyGirl 4 years ago

      Awesome presentation of a fascinating subject. Wish we'd had learning modules like this when I was in school!

    • profile image

      forextrading2000 4 years ago

      Nice lens, you have obviously put a lot of work into it and it shows. Good luck

    • profile image

      xtianfriborg13 4 years ago

      So educational! I love this lens!

    • profile image

      Moon-Light 4 years ago

      Catapult, the great teacher!

    • sageinacage lm profile image

      sageinacage lm 4 years ago

      Fabulous lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Wonderful lens thank you.

    • sharonbellis profile image

      Sharon Bellissimo 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      Interesting and informative lens.

    • dezwards profile image

      dezwards 4 years ago

      Super lens, like the tennis ball catapult! Could have some serious fun with that one! Very informative, many thanks

    • profile image

      nicolane 4 years ago

      People always learn more when it is fun - and when they can see practical applications of things like formulas. Well done

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      As I have told you before - your kids are lucky. Thorough, wonderful lens. Blessed...................

    • DianaHarper LM profile image

      DianaHarper LM 4 years ago

      Thanks for this lens/unit study!

    • Aster56 profile image

      Aster56 4 years ago

      Very nice lens.

    • profile image

      SSATprep 4 years ago

      This lens is so cool. Cheers.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      THis is really interesting.

    • GregKuhn profile image

      GregKuhn 4 years ago

      What a cool lesson! I'm sure your children have been entertained while they learn. Thank you.

    • profile image

      acregmed 4 years ago

      Interesting and cool lens!

    • AcornOakForest profile image

      Monica Lobenstein 4 years ago from Western Wisconsin

      Nice lens! I'll be using some of this information for a marshmallow launcher fun night I'm doing with kids later this week. Thanks for the information!

    • profile image

      dream1983 4 years ago

      Great lens, nicely done!

    • profile image

      Terrie_Schultz 4 years ago

      When I taught middle school science, I had my students build small catapults with plastic spoons and rubber bands, and they shot marshmallows with them. They loved it! Wonderful lens.

    • lilblackdress lm profile image

      lilblackdress lm 4 years ago

      Wow this is such an informative lens!

    • sudokunut profile image

      Mark Falco 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      This is really cool. Now I want to build a catapult!

    • marigoldina profile image

      Heather B 4 years ago

      Incredible lens! Your son looks very satisfied with his catapult. Rightly so, it's a beauty!

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      marsha32 4 years ago

      Bible school next week and the theme is Babylon. One evening for games we are to have 3 sizes of catapults and stuffed animals. I sure wish we could borrow a few of yours :) I'm not sure if we will come up with any in time.

    • KevCooper profile image

      KevCooper 4 years ago

      Very interesting, I built a small one when I was around 10 years old with bits cut from my Grans privet hedge!

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      Ruthi 4 years ago

      I want that giant balance board and the desktop warfare catapult; what fun! What imaginative learning the catapult lessons are! Catapulting my blessings and a bit o' sunshine your way.

    • Paperquest5 profile image

      Paperquest5 4 years ago

      Great way to teach math and physics. My son went to a math and science high school, he would have loved doing this. He probably still would.

    • aksem profile image

      aksem 4 years ago

      A fascinating theme. Thank you for great job!

    • Tradeshowhobo profile image

      Tradeshowhobo 4 years ago

      This is how school should be taught. nice lens.

    • avigarret profile image

      avigarret 4 years ago

      Wow Janice, you're a purple star machine, and it is to be expected.

      All your lenses are both educational and fascinating, not to mention visually stunning.

    • MoniqueDesigns profile image

      MoniqueDesigns 4 years ago

      Great lens, I'll have to show my son, he loves catapults

    • magictricksdotcom profile image

      magictricksdotcom 4 years ago

      Great lens. What a terrific way to teach physics. Hope lots of teachers read your lens and follow your suggestions.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      How cool is this? In some ways it is a shame that only your kids get to profit from your great ideas, you obviously would be a gifted teacher. Pinned to my board: This I want you to know, and Angel Blessed.

    • Bill Armstrong profile image

      Bill Armstrong 4 years ago from Valencia, California

      Loved the study and yes I did build my own catapults back in the days, and they worked also ;)

    • BestRatedStuff profile image

      BestRatedStuff 4 years ago

      Just the right thing for my son. Going to have to print this out and get him to watch the videos. Thanks for sharing.

    • franstan lm profile image

      franstan lm 4 years ago

      Wonderful lens. Deserves a blessing

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks so much!

    • JanieceTobey profile image
      Author

      JanieceTobey 4 years ago

      @anonymous: They used a hinge to allow the arm to bend back. Hope that helps!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      what/how did they attach the arm sp it could bend back?

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      dannystaple 4 years ago

      It is funny I found this today, I was just telling somebody about how me and a childhood friend converted an old rowing machine into a catapult. We used it to launch clods of mud, foolishly at a wasps nest and then had to run for cover! This is great - definitely worth a blessing. I may keep this one bookmarked for when my daughter is old enough to understand - it will be great fun.

    • glenbrook profile image

      glenbrook 5 years ago

      This looks like fun - might have to build one of these with my son this summer:)

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      I'm supposed to learn something new every day. Thank you, I did. Also, thanks for stopping by my lens! ;-)

    • profile image

      AxisMundi 5 years ago

      Did you know that the catapults were the first biological weapon used in wars. The way was that throwing human remainings who felt in battle away after a couple of days keeping them (so that hazardous microorganisms like viruses can proliferate). And the bodies that were threw in the potable water disseminate epidemics. Nice lens, thank you for sharing :)

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I think every child is amazed by the Catapult so I can see why it would be a great teaching tool.

    • safereview profile image

      Bob 5 years ago from Kansas City

      What a great lens! Really enjoyed it... well done.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I wish I had come upon this lens when I was in high school. Great tips on catapults! thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I remember being mesmerized the first time I visited this masterpiece and you got me again, stopping by to refresh that worn off blessing....you have added to this since I was here!

    • TheLittleCardShop profile image

      Malu Couttolenc 5 years ago

      Great page! Very educational :)

    • jadehorseshoe profile image

      jadehorseshoe 5 years ago

      Another Good One!

    • Barb McCoy profile image

      Barb McCoy 5 years ago

      We used the Art of the Catpult in our homeschool unit on Medieval times and the boys and their dad built an awesome trebuchet. Great lens!!! Blessed.

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 5 years ago

      What a fun way to learn ... very nicely done! Congratulations on having one of the top 35 homeschooling lenses.

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 5 years ago

      very cool page, this would be fun as a scout project possibly, thanks so much for the information, blessed

    • JanieceTobey profile image
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      JanieceTobey 5 years ago

      @LabKittyDesign: Now that's a big catapult, LabKitty! Thanks for sharing!

    • LabKittyDesign profile image

      LabKittyDesign 5 years ago

      Well done! Also: this might be of interest:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJgt-HO0_kY

      Cheers!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      What a great fun learning resource, and not only for children

    • profile image

      foxx2jett 5 years ago

      Cool lens, me and my boys really like it. Thanks for posting it.

    • profile image

      slschumacher2 5 years ago

      great information here, great to get the kid learning by doing

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 5 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      This looks like such fun! Maybe I'll do this with my daughter... oh, yeah, she's grown already. Maybe with a granddaughter someday (sigh...)

    • BuddyBink profile image

      BuddyBink 5 years ago

      This is awesome and it looks like a lot of fun.Nice job.

    • JanieceTobey profile image
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      JanieceTobey 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks! The teens put a lot of work into it!

    • JanieceTobey profile image
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      JanieceTobey 5 years ago

      @Julia Morais: I hope you both have a lot of fun together making and using the catapult!

    • JanieceTobey profile image
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      JanieceTobey 5 years ago

      @Boradryn: I bet she'll love it!

    • mercin12 profile image

      mercin12 5 years ago

      We built some large pumpkin slingshots at our farm. I'm thinking it would be great to build one of your catapults from above. Thanks!

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      Boradryn 5 years ago

      My son's dog loves to play fetch with a tennis ball. Can't wait to see how she does with one thrown by a catapult.

    • elyria profile image

      elyria 5 years ago

      I definitely enjoyed learning about catapults, great lens!

    • profile image

      MyDestination 5 years ago

      cool lens

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      reasonablerobby 5 years ago

      What an inspired lens. I always remember learning about the Trebuchet at elementary school in history and the Ballista too. Making them looks great fun. This is sure to catapult a child's education forward.

    • autofanatic profile image

      autofanatic 5 years ago

      Fantastic lens. My boys will love this! :-)

    • DieselJoe profile image

      DieselJoe 5 years ago

      Time to do some Pumpkin Chunkin'

    • profile image

      PacificTransfer 5 years ago

      This is incredibly amusing! Thank you!

    • profile image

      Promopro 5 years ago

      I will try to make one. I like running after thrown things

    • Julia Morais profile image

      Julia Morais 5 years ago

      I think I'm gonna try building a little catapult with my nephew. Great lens. Thanks for the idea.

    • Rantsand profile image

      Rantsand 5 years ago

      Very cool! Brings back memories of schooldays trying to make catapults with paperclips and a bit paper.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      That final catapult is pretty well done I must say.

    • jdwheeler profile image

      jdwheeler 5 years ago

      Very cool. Science is always easier to understand when it's fun.

    • profile image

      derroca 5 years ago

      Great lens!

    • JanieceTobey profile image
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      JanieceTobey 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it!

    • JanieceTobey profile image
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      JanieceTobey 5 years ago

      @JeremyAce: I learned all kinds of new things about catapults myself!

    • JanieceTobey profile image
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      JanieceTobey 5 years ago

      @cdevries: I think hands-on activities are fantastic for learners of any age! :-)

    • JanieceTobey profile image
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      JanieceTobey 5 years ago

      @modernchakra: Glad you enjoyed my page!

    • JanieceTobey profile image
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      JanieceTobey 5 years ago

      @gxwarr: Hope you enjoy it!

    • JanieceTobey profile image
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      JanieceTobey 5 years ago

      @NicholasLore: Thank you, Nicholas!! It was fun making and using the catapults!

    • profile image

      NicholasLore 5 years ago

      This is the best lens I have ever seen!

    • profile image

      JeremyAce 5 years ago

      Huh, always thought the Trebuchet was a European thing. Learned something new today

    • profile image

      aussieremovals 5 years ago

      Great lens!

    • gxwarr profile image

      gxwarr 5 years ago

      This is really cool. i might attempt one of the smaller ones as a project for me and the kids! Thanks!

    • profile image

      jeremyh1 5 years ago

      Amazing! your lens is really summarizing worthy points. Great lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      enjoyed viewing and read this tonight, you sure earned a 'thumbs up' from this reader.

    • cdevries profile image

      cdevries 5 years ago

      a wonderful lens! my son used to build trebuchets... a lot of fun and hands-on physics and mechanics.

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 5 years ago

      Fun while learning activities with the children.

    • modernchakra profile image

      modernchakra 5 years ago

      What a fun "launching" point for so many amazing topics! Thank you for such an interesting lens.

    • papermotor profile image

      papermotor 5 years ago

      These mini catapults are fantastic! Maybe once I will build one. Thanks for this detailed lens!

    • profile image

      Sandora 5 years ago

      makes me wanna build my lil catapult xD

      Thanks +1

    • profile image

      abrahamgpg 5 years ago

      Very interesting lens. My son want to study physics and he can learn a lot through your lens. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      off course enjoy this Lens, Thanks

    • profile image

      iwrite4cash 5 years ago

      I really like this project, fantastically portrayed lens! Thanks for sharing.

    • JanieceTobey profile image
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      JanieceTobey 5 years ago

      @evelynsaenz1: Thanks, Evelyn!

    • JanieceTobey profile image
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      JanieceTobey 5 years ago

      @iijuan12: Hope you enjoy the catapults! They're a lot of fun to make, and use!

    • JanieceTobey profile image
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      JanieceTobey 5 years ago

      @TreasuresBrenda: Awesome! Physics is a fascinating branch of science!

    • JanieceTobey profile image
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      JanieceTobey 5 years ago

      @blanckj: Thanks so much for the Squid Angel Blessing! Glad you enjoyed my catapult lessons site!

    • JanieceTobey profile image
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      JanieceTobey 5 years ago

      @Countryluthier: LOL, I don't know the max range of a snowball! You are right that that's snow on the ground all around our catapult, but we didn't try it with snow! We didn't think of it!! Hey, what a great tool for a snowball fight! :-)

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 5 years ago from Western Mass

      PUNKIN CHUNKIN!! awesome lens.

    • Countryluthier profile image

      Countryluthier 5 years ago

      Nice project! Great lens. OBTW what is the max range of a standard snowball?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks! This was great!

    • profile image

      blanckj 5 years ago

      Oh my gosh I love it! Such a great set of lesson plans. Thanks for sharing. Blessed!

    • Nany Palacio profile image

      Nany Palacio 5 years ago

      Thanks for this great informative lens! My little princess are pretty young for catapults... But I'll keep in mind when they grow up!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 5 years ago from Canada

      Great lens. My son (17) is still fascinated by physics. As a matter of fact, he plans to study Engineering Physics next year.

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 5 years ago from Australia

      What a great collection of ideas! Fun and educational.

    • profile image

      NYThroughTheLens 5 years ago

      Awesome lens. Love this.

    • iijuan12 profile image

      iijuan12 6 years ago from Florida

      This is great! We're about to begin our unit on simple machines, and we'll definitely try to make some catapults. What fun! Thank you for posting this!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      You have turned the catapult into a wonderfully fun learning tool, very cool!

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is a wonderful home-school project ~ so many lessons to learn from a catapult. Loved all the personal pictures and experience that you brought through this lens. Well done, as always! :)

    • Hedremp profile image

      Sandra Wilson 6 years ago from Wilson Education Resource Centre

      thanks for sharing this activity - it brings back some fond memories of my boys and the catapult building!

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 6 years ago from Royalton

      I remember making catapults with my children years ago when we were studying Medieval Times. We never made ones that big though. What fun!

      Please come leave a message about this lens on The Homeschool Club fanpage on Facebook. People there have been asking for suggestions for ways to make Social Studies lessons more interesting. You have certainly found the way!

      Blessed and lensrolled to my Ramsey's Scallop Medieval Unit Study.

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