We recently made DIY working catapults.
These are so simple and quick to make from materials around the home. No expensive parts to buy but some serious fun to be had!
Once we’d finished making the DIY working catapults, it was time to play some DIY catapult games.
Catapult Game No. 1 (included a maths focus):
First we played with the catapults on the number line, measuring how far each ‘cannon ball’ flew.
This enabled us to compare and measure – great maths worked into our playtime.
Catapult Game No. 2 (included a social/teamwork focus … and was just plain fun!):
(Oops! Just realised there are no photos of this activity. Someone must have been too involved in playing that she forgot to take photos! Sorry!)
Next, we divided into two teams and flung cannon balls from one end of the hall to the other. While it doesn’t sound like there’d be much learning in that, there was.
We had to try and work out how to alter thrusts, coordinate and aim.
The game also fostered teamwork and cooperation.
Apart from that, it was heaps of fun … and very noisy!
Hmmm… thinking back, I was probably making more noise than the boys put together.
Catapult Game No. 3 (included a problem-solving focus as well as maths):
Lastly, we played “The Shoot the Catapult into the Bin Game.” Okay, it’s not a very original title but it was still heaps of fun to play.
This game involved shooting the cannon balls into a container at the end of the hall.
The game required the shooters to problem solve – working out which adjustments needed to be made in order to shoot a goal (e.g., adjustments to pressure, alignment and type of ammunition used).
We also used a tally sheet to keep a record of each persons’ goals. This was a great way to introduce tally marks.
Hmmmm …. Who taught the young fellow to put a pen behind his ear? He’s growing up so quickly!!!! Too quickly!
Before we knew it, hours had passed. Loosing track of time is always a good indicator that an activity is worth doing because it means you’ve become engrossed in it.
Do you have games you play with catapults and cannon balls? We’d love to hear about them.
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Return to the Articles List for other children’s learning activities or children’s book reviews.