DIY Catapults

The DoSeum is a place where interactive fun and hands-on learning come together—a place where minds are always at play.  During your visit, our exhibits, programs, and classes will encourage young minds to explore the joy of learning through connections to STEM, the arts, and literacy, but curiosity and exploration don't have to end when you leave!

Explore our DIY Activities, Storytimes, and Questions from Kids that were created for you to DO at home and stay connected with your family while keeping minds at play in between your visits!

To learn more about how you can help support your DoSeum, especially during these unprecedented times, please visit our SUPPORT page.



DIY Catapults

Put your engineer hats on and let's build a catapult!  We're exploring how your kids can build a catapult from home while exploring concepts of gravity, energy, and design!  Will your kids make a big base or small base, long launching arm or short launching arm, use heavy or light building materials?  Each decision they make while building a catapult could affect the launch distance and height.  

Here is what you will need: 

  • Small, Lightweight Projectiles (e.g., pom poms, ping pong balls, marshmallows, bouncy balls, cotton balls, etc.)
  • Craft Sticks (small, large, or a combination)
  • Binder Clips (1 inch, or whatever you have available!)
  • Rubber Bands and/or Duct Tape & Hot Glue
  • Plastic Spoons or Disposable Bottle Caps
  • Stick-like Objects (e.g., Markers, Colored Pencils, Sticks, Dowels, Clothes Hangers, etc.)
  • A Target! And also a way to measure the distance


Building Tips and Tricks 

  • Rubber bands are best reserved for children with more advanced fine motor skills. Binder clips are a better alternative for younger learners!
  • Having three to five initial distance/target tests will help learners get a feel for how to launch their projectiles before they begin tweaking and altering their designs.
  • To practice data capture, create a chart or simple table to record distances and heights for each launch.
  • Learners are not limited to catapults! They are welcome to explore other creative uses and properties of the materials. You can also make harmonicas with the same materials. This concept reinforces the Parts, Purposes, & Complexities thinking routine.


Ready to show off their catapult? Share their creation in action or in slo-mo on social media be sure to tag @TheDoSeum and use the hashtag #DOitAtHome.  




See all DIY Activities > 


  • 112.11.b - (1)(A), (2)(A-E), (5)(A), (6)(C)        
  • 112.12.b - (1)(A), (2)(A-E)
  • 112.13.b - (1)(A), (2)(A-F), (3)(A-C), (5)(D)    
  • 112.14.b - (1)(A), (2)(A-F), (4), (6)(B)
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