Catapult Game

A Tale of Two Catapults

In this activity we'll be building a catapult and target to use in an age-old contest of skill. Do you have what it takes to best your opponent and walk away with the highest score?

Catapult Game Supplies

Approximate build time: 2 hours

Materials listed are for one catapult and one target. You could build more than one and set up a carnival style game booth for friends and family to enjoy a little challenge of skill and earn bragging rights for the highest score!


Repeat these steps for each catapult you are making.

Step 1:

Make a stack of 7 craft sticks and use a rubber band on each end to hold them together.

7 craft sticks bound by rubber bands

Step 2:

Make a stack of 2 craft sticks and use a rubber band to hold them together on one end.

2 sets of sticks bound by rubber bands

Step 3:

Take the stack of 2 craft sticks and spread the unbound end apart to form an alligator mouth. Then wedge the stack of 7 craft sticks into the alligator mouth.

Craft sticks wedged together

Step 4:

Use two rubber bands to secure the plastic spoon to the top craft stick.

Finished craft stick and rubber band catapult with marshmallow payload

Congratulations! You now have a catapult. Now we’ll build a target to lob the marshmallows (or other payload) at.


Repeat these steps for each target you are making.


When cutting, gluing, and painting make sure to protect the surface you are working on. Put down an old box, paper, plastic, or other material you don’t mind getting paint or glue on to protect your work surface. We don’t want to scratch it or accidentally get glue or paint all over it.

Step 1:

Lay your box on the work surface.

Poor cereal box, little does it know it is about to become a target

Step 2:

Take a disposablecup and use it to trace a circle onto the box.

Using a disposable cup as a circle template

Step 3:

Carefully cut the circle out of the box with scissors or a craft knife.

A cereal box with a hole cut into it

Step 4:

Take 2 craft sticks and glue one to each side of the top of your box. They should extend past the box on the opposite side of the hole you just cut out. These sticks will lift the back of the box and angle the target towards your catapult.

Wait for the glue to dry before moving on to the next steps.

Elevating our target cereal box

Step 5:

Carefully cut the flaps off the bottom edge of the target so any of the objects that make it into the hole may slide out.

Remove the box flaps from the bottom of the target

Step 6:

It’s time to decorate! Using paints, markers, and/or other decorative materials make the target your own. Think about patterns or shapes that draw attention to the hole(s) in the target.

Finished Catapult and Target

Can you think of any ways to make it easier or harder to score points on your target(s)?

Some ideas:

  • Cutting multiple holes of varying sizes, make the smaller holes worth more points.
  • Gluing pencils or straws onto the box to direct the ball as it rolls down the target. Either into the hole or away from it!

What else could you do?

Playing your game:

  1. Safety first!

    • Make sure no people, pets, or breakable things are between your catapult and the target or in the direction you will be launching things with your catapult.
    • Don’t lean over your catapult while releasing it. You don’t want to get hit in the face with a marshmallow or something worse!
    • Don’t launch heavy, hard, or sharp objects.
  2. Take turns lobbing things at your targets. Give each player 3 or more attempts to score points.

  3. Have fun!

  4. Highest score wins!


Popsicle or Craft sticks 11
Rubber Bands 5
Plastic Spoons 1
Catapult "payload" (ping pong ball, large marshmallow, cotton ball, paper ball) 1
Cereal (or other cardboard) boxes 1
Scissors or craft knife 1
Glue (white or hot glue) 1
Cup (to trace circle) 1
Paint or Markers 1
Paintbrush 1
Decorative materials 1
Build date: 2020-07-13 16:03:10.90866604 +0000 UTC m=+0.072141835