Introduction: CATAPONG

Hello there fellow elf!

Christmas is just around the corner and Santa needs our help in delivering gifts for everyone on the nice kids' list. Your mission is to make a catapult using popsicle sticks, rubber bands, and a spoon. After you do so, you will now be sending off gifts to chimneys (made of plastic cups). Take note; not all chimneys are the same, so expect different ones, especially their sizes!

Here are the tasks Santa gave his little helpers, we hope that you’ll have a splendid time making them and make sure to have an older elf helper as you proceed!


1) Making a Merry Catapult

The things you will need are:

  • 10 popsicle sticks
  • 10 rubber bands
  • Wooden or plastic spoon (make sure that it slightly bends!)
  • Safety glasses (in case the rubber bands accidentally fly off)
  • Ping-Pong ball

Step 1:

Make a stack of 7 popsicle sticks and use a rubber band to tie them together on both ends.

Step 2:

Make another stack with only 2 popsicle sticks and use a rubber band to tie them together on one end only.

Step 3:

Pull the 2 popsicle sticks apart and wedge the stack of 7 popsicle sticks between them.

Step 4:

Use two rubber bands and secure the wooden/plastic spoon on the upper popsicle stick.

Step 5:

Place the ball on the spoon

Step 6:

Using two hands, hold down two of the end of the popsicle to secure it in place while the thumb pushes down the spoon.

Step 7:

Aim at the *chimneys and enjoy sending off Santa’s gifts for the children!

But beware! Aim carefully or else you might miss the chimney and break the children’s’ gifts. We wouldn’t want kids to cry on Christmas, do we?

Step 8: Mechanics for the Game

Now the real fun begins! We will now send off Santa’s gifts for the children, but the little elves had something else in mind. That’s right! A game wherein the elf that gets to send the most gifts wins!! The winner’s prize will be discussed with Santa (parent) and we assure you that it will be a jolly gift just for you! What are you waiting for? Read the mechanics below and let the merry jolly game begin!!


  • The cups will represent the different chimneys of the children’s houses
  • The Ping-Pong ball will serve as Santa’s presents for the kids
  • Make sure to have other elf helpers to play the game with
  • Enjoy the game! :)


1. Prepare all the materials needed

2. Set all the cups in a triangular shape.

3. The base of the triangle must be composed of four large plastic cups, followed by three medium-sized cups and three small plastic cups for the last two layers of the triangle that makes the tip.

4. Place the catapult half a meter (approximately 20 inches) from the base of the triangle.


Large cup - 5 merry points!

Medium cup - 10 merry jolly points!!

Small cup - 15 merry jolly Santa points!!!


5. Before the game starts, elf A and B must play rock, paper, and scissors. Whoever wins will take the first turn.

6. The first elf player will take their shot. The player will continue sending gifts until they miss which lets the next elf player have its turn.

7. The second elf player will take his turn, repeating the statement in number 6.

*This will be repeated until all the elf players had their turn. *


8. After an elf player misses a shot, an older elf helper will collect and count the balls that were able to get in the cups.

9. Take note that each cup corresponds to a given point.

10. The older elf will total the scores.

11. The elf player who scored the most points wins the game!

Step 9: Trivia Alert!

A catapult works because the energy stored by the object is used to launch itself in the air. This situation may be related to physics through the word projectile motion, which means the only things that are helping the imaginary presents “fly” and land on the children’s chimneys are gravity and air resistance. Think of it this way, the present is metal and gravity is a magnet located inside the chimneys. The presents will now be “attracted” to the chimney and pull them inside the children’s houses. Air resistance will now simply be the “wind” around us. If the wind blows too hard in the opposite direction of the houses, then the presents will be dragged away from the chimney. With all these considered, you, my little elf friend, may now successfully send off the presents while enjoying the “science” behind our little task!