How to Build a Catapult Out of Popsicle Sticks



When I looked over our Classical Conversations presentation schedule, I noticed that next week’s presentation is “How to Make/Do Something.” This was our favorite one last year! My boys love to build and create….and show their projects to others! At first, I was tempted to keep it simple… how to make a pbj sandwich or how to clean a toilet. (They could use a refresher course on that! …….hmmmm….Maybe their presentation could be on how to aim and hit the toilet……..probably not on the “CC-approved” list…. :) ) But, since I am terrible about doing crafty type things with my kids, I decided to put a little more effort into this presentation.

So….I went to my pinterest boards looking for ideas that related to our study of Rome. I came across an idea that I had pinned about how to build a catapult from Creekside Learning. As soon as I mentioned the idea of flinging objects across the house, my boys began grunting and hollering in a caveman-like manner. I guess that is a yes?

So….here it is… to build a catapult…….

The Supplies: popsicle sticks, rubber bands, a command adhesive tab, and a water bottle lid


Step 1


Step 2


Step 3


Step 4 (Be careful with this step. If you secure the rubber band too tight, then it won’t shoot very far. If you secure the rubber band too loose, then the catapult will fall apart. My older boys used ribbon on this step, instead of a rubber band. They thought it shot better with tied ribbon. I think that the rubber band was easier! You decide!


Step 5 (Make sure the tab hangs off the end of the popsicle stick. You will pull on this to fire the catapult.)

Step 6

Step 7…..Load and FIRE!

During our study of Ancient Rome, we learned that the Romans would travel the countryside looking for villages to conquer. They would build catapults and shoot rocks or flaming rags into the city walls. So, we decided to build a village to conquer….Roman Style! Their catapults are ready….

Can you see the fiery rag (AKA…lego) shooting towards the town? Watch out, villagers! Incoming flames! Make it easy and surrender your land to the Roman army….

After awhile we began to get creative with our projectile objects…….my oldest decided to test out a feather on his lego.

I decided that flying chocolate might help me cope with all of the mess that they created…..


See why I needed chocolate?


I might need some coffee, also……


If you want to read more about Ancient Rome, check out the See Inside Ancient Rome book published by Usborne. Because we loved the See Inside Ancient Egypt book during our Egypt unit, I knew that we needed to check out the one on Rome!

2 Responses to How to Build a Catapult Out of Popsicle Sticks

  1. Julie September 27, 2012 at 12:39 am #

    Oh, that is so funny, you have me in stitches about your boys “grunting in a caveman like manner” and flinging chocolate to cope with the mess. Thanks so much for linking to my blog. We still have our catapult from last year and it gets played with often. And we used ribbon for ours as well and it shoots pretty far.
    I love your humorous writing style. Off to follow you on the various social networks. :-)

    • Jennifer October 2, 2012 at 12:03 am #


      Thanks for visiting my site….and for giving me the idea! It was so fun! I find it funny that you still have your catapult! I had to hide mine from my boys so that it would still be in one piece for their presentation! We had one broken within an hour! But, thankfully, they are easy to make! Thanks again for the idea!


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