Feels like I haven’t written a post for kids in awhile…
It’s not that we haven’t been doing things – it’s the opposite in fact.
We’ve been to the library, a blueberry farm, swimming lessons and this week day camp – I just forgot to post anything on the blog.
Today I have an easy DIY that you can build with the kids out of scrap wood – no need for large purchases – this is a cheapie-but-a-goodie.
The girls and I (okay, mostly I) wanted to try out a DIY catapult. You know where you stomp on one end and whatever is sitting on the other goes flying?
As a kid, I’d use a fork and shoot food (when no one was around). There were even times when I used a teeter-totter to try to catapult my little brother into the next hemisphere.
Given that Maddie has my tendencies, I thought we’d go smaller – nothing big enough to launch her sister.
- 1 piece 2 ½” lumber cut at 32″ long
- 2 pieces 2 ½” lumber cut at 3 ½ ” long
- Wood glue (if you have it)
- Wood screws
You can use a 2×4 for this – the 2 ½” lumber is just what I had lying around.
I made the cuts and then helped Chloe put her DIY catapult together.
First we used wood glue to stick the two 3 ½” pieces together, and then to the board at the 8″ mark.
Make sure you pre-drill your holes or the wood will split.
We used four 3″ wood screws to go through all three boards. (Please verify that this is the right screw length for your project – I’d be devastated if I gave you a measurement that worked for us, but didn’t work with your lumber and we stabbed little feet)
The drill was a bit heavy, so I held it straight while she pulled the trigger.
Then give your DIY catapult a light sanding – so little feet don’t get slivers;
You may have noticed in the above photo that we tried to use two pieces of wood to come up with the full 32″ length.
Use one solid piece of lumber, or else when Mommy tries it out with her monster feet, the board will crack at the seam. (oops!)
We used a Littlest Pet Shop as our DIY catapult test pilot (a Russian dog I believe), and he flew!
Daddy suggest we try using a large rock, but Mommy was present to kibosh that idea.
DON’T USE ROCKS!
So the stomper DIY catapult was a hit. We shot shoes and LPS toys, even a marshmallow or two went flying.
But Maddie didn’t have her own DIY catapult.
Next up – the hand catapult (for Maddie)
You will need:
- 1 piece 3 ¼” lumber at 12 ½” long
- 1 piece 3 ¼” lumber at 1 ¾” long.
Again, parents make the cuts – the kids don’t come in until the glueing, drilling, sanding and painting (if you wish) portions.
We glued and then drilled the 1 ¾” lumber onto the longer board at the 4″ mark. You only see one screw here, but we did add another one on the other side to keep it in place.
Big-me and mini-me!
Again, the poor Littlest Pet Shop toys took a flying leap, but the biggest hit was when we used marshmallows and the other person tried to catch them (to eat of course).
The hand catapult was a bigger hit than the larger one – maybe because it was easier to use or perhaps it was the flying reward system?
Regardless, it was an easy build, the kids had fun and were proud of creating their own toy (that no one else has) and it was nice to have some DIY time together with them.
Have a great one!