How to Make a Catapult out of a Cardboard Box

The familiar cardboard box can transport a youngster to ancient times when the box is transformed into a catapult worthy of the toughest Knight of the Round Table. This project teaches basic engineering techniques while providing imaginative playtime. It's a great rainy day activity, and can be incorporated into a knight-themed birthday party craft session. The catapulted marshmallows will do little damage to the party locale, and the extras provide a sweet party treat.

Cut one piece of cardboard from the box to measure 1 foot square for the catapult base.

Cut the other piece of cardboard to measure 4 inches by 1 foot for the lever. Fold the lever in half lengthwise.

Poke a hole in the centre of each side of the lever with the awl. Poke a hole in the middle of the base.

Cut the rubber band and make a knot in one end.

Pull the rubber bank up through the base and both holes of the lever, with the knotted rubber band end on the bottom of the base.

Tape one side of the lever to the base. Make a tight knot in the other end of the cut rubber band.

Tape the spoon handle to the top of the folded lever, with the bowl of the spoon facing down and extending past the unfolded edge of the lever.

Pull the spoon back, place the marshmallow in the bowl and catapult the marshmallow forward.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard box
  • Pencil
  • Rubber band
  • Awl
  • Plastic spoon
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors
  • Marshmallows
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About the Author

Linda Shepard has been staff writer for "C & G Newspapers" for over 10 years, covering local government and crime and serving as the newspaper's food writer. She has written for "Michigan Meetings Magazine" and is also the owner of, an online business of self-guided walking tours.