Marshmallow Launcher

7,591

59

7

1 Teacher Note

Introduction: Marshmallow Launcher

About: I play with light

As a kid, we would have huge sleepovers at grandma's. It was always a good excuse for all the cousins to hang out together, stay up late, eat junk food, watch movies together and just be unruly. One of our favourite activities was launching marshmallows across the play room. Whoever hit the most targets, got to pick the movie we watched. Oddly enough we still play this game as adults at Christmas or Thanksgiving to decide who does the dishes or who deals with the crying baby or stinky diaper.

So here's how to build super easy, kid-friendly popsicle stick and rubber band catapult & target.

Please do not aim it at people or pets. Stick to inanimate targets and only catapult soft items like marshmallows paper, soft balls and if you, like my cousins choose socks, please for goodness sake, use clean socks. I swear, a lifetime later, I can still smell that smell (thanks Charlie!).

Supplies:

  • Popsicle sticks
    • At least 16
  • Rubberbands
    • At least 7
  • Plastic Easter egg
  • Marshmallows
  • Cardstock
  • Tape (or glue)

Alternative:

  • Substitute a bottle cap for the easter egg shells
  • Use Hot glue to attach the bottle cap

1 Teacher Note

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Base Plate

Take a rubber band and wrap it around a popsicle/craft stick approximately 2.5 inches from the end.

This will keep the fulcrum ( a stack of popsicle sticks) from slipping on the base

Step 2: Overlay

  • Place the Base Plate with the rubber band on top of a second stick.
  • The end closest to the rubber band should be on top of the second stick
  • They should be perpendicular to each other (see image)

Step 3: Add Fulcrum

  • We will need something to leverage the launcher on so:
  • Stack 9 more popsicle sticks on top of the second one
  • Line them up (see image above)

Step 4: Secure the Base

  • Wrap a rubber band around each side of the stack of sticks
    • It should be tight

Step 5: Launcher Prep

  • Take one half of a small Easter egg shell and pass a rubber band through the child safety holes
  • One side of the rubber band should be a small loop (see image)

Step 6: Launcher

  • Place the egg half open side down
  • Place a popsicle stick on top of it
    • Between the loops of rubber band
  • Take the long end of the rubber band and pass it through the small loop at the other end
  • Pull to tighten
  • Wrap the rest of the rubber band around the stick
  • Adjust the plastic easter egg half if necessary
    • It should be centered at the end of the stick

Step 7: Assemble Parts

Take the two pieces we just built and

  • Align the front end of the launcher (the one without the egg half) to the front of the base assembly
  • Wrap a rubber band very tightly around them

Step 8: Targets

Download, print and cut out targets. If a printer is not available, make your own target. We often used an empty juice bottle or a really ugly pattern on Gramma's wallpaper :)

I included jpg and pdf files of different sized targets

Step 9: Target Stands

To hold up a target, you will need 4 popsicle sticks

  • Place one end of a stick between two other sticks
    • They should perpendicular to each other
    • They should be centered
  • Secure them with a rubber band

Variation:

You can place one end of a stick in some playdoh and skip building stands

Step 10: Kick Stand

  • Loop a rubber band around your fingers a couple of times
  • Slide a stick through the loops
    • The loops should pass behind the stick at the end to attach

Step 11: Attach Kick Stand

  • Slide the rubber band under the 2 stick stack of the stand (say that out-loud 5 times!!!)
  • Slide the end of the stick over 2 stick stack of the stand
  • Pull the end of the rubber band over the ends of the kickstand stick

Step 12: Stand Up Stand

  • Press on the loose end of the kick stand
  • With the other hand, rotate the stand to an upright position
  • When it is upright, slide the rubber bands of the kickstand together

Step 13: Attach Target

Take some tape or glue and attach a target to the stand

Step 14: Launch Some Marshmallows

  • With one hand press down on the stack of sticks
  • With the other hand, press down on the launcher
  • Aim away from people or pets
  • Let go to Fire
Rubber Band Speed Challenge

First Prize in the
Rubber Band Speed Challenge

Be the First to Share

    Recommendations

    • Distance Learning with Tinkercad Contest

      Distance Learning with Tinkercad Contest
    • Motor Vehicle Contest

      Motor Vehicle Contest
    • LED Strip Speed Challenge

      LED Strip Speed Challenge

    7 Discussions

    0
    zstewar10
    zstewar10

    14 days ago

    superb just dont do in the house

    0
    gb7461059
    gb7461059

    14 days ago

    This thing is awesome!

    0
    thepoisonivy
    thepoisonivy

    18 days ago

    Soooooo many shenanigans one could get up to with this thing. Love it. Well done!

    0
    inkybreadcrumbs
    inkybreadcrumbs

    Reply 18 days ago

    Yup! that's why we kept it to marshmallows...mostly.
    I can't confirm or deny that GI Joes and Barbie heads went flying with the bigger version of these.

    0
    seamster
    seamster

    21 days ago

    Love it! Excellent project, great story, beautiful presentation of the process to reproduce it. 10/10!

    0
    inkybreadcrumbs
    inkybreadcrumbs

    Reply 20 days ago

    Thanks Sam. That's a lovely thing to say.