When I found an idea for a Tinker Toy catapult over at Kids Activities Blog I knew my boys would love to give it a try. I suggest you head over there first to read all of the great info about the experiment.
I say that, but we only looked at the post long enough to build our catapult the way they did and then we headed outside.
The supplies we used were Tinker Toys, a rubber band and a marble.
After looking the post again I think we could have done some things differently with the yellow piece that hooks into the rubber band.
Anyway, we gave it a whirl.
I love this picture of my oldest son. Can you see the marble?
We used a tape measurer to see how far our marble went. My boys did this a few times and then decided they wanted to try to change the catapult by using different parts.
I think this picture pretty well shows the changes we made. We used 2 green and 2 yellow rods for the base along with 4 spools. Then we used 4 blue rods and 2 spools for the diagonal pieces.
In between we used a yellow rod with a different kind of spool in the middle. We placed a rubber band around the base on one side and then put a yellow rod on each side of the center spool.
A coupling was attached to one yellow rod and a spool and red rod were attached to the other yellow rod. As you can see the marble rests on the spool.
These changes made our marble go really far. My boys were so excited.
The great thing about this activity was that my boys were using the skills measurement, cooperative learning, design and engineering but simply thought they were playing.
Isn’t it great when kids have so much fun learning that they don’t even know they are learning?
Have you ever made a catapult with your kids?