Catapult Shooters

Lower Age: 3
Upper Age: 99
Price: $7.00
Year Added: 2021
Amazon URL:
Catapult Shooters Contents
Catapult Shooters by Butterfly Edufields is a hands-on design challenge for ages 3+ that requires the user to build their own catapult toy.

The box provides materials for 2 variations of a catapult, one set of 26 pieces and another of 16 pieces, and four plastic balls to launch using the catapult. The instructions give detailed step-by-step pictures and  a paper dartboard poster for when the user is ready for some fun with the catapult. 

The toy design provides an excellent introduction to hands-on engineering, and with its use as a more standard toy once built, it is hard to see the catapult getting boring any time soon. Some adult assistance may be necessary for younger children to successfully build both catapults. However, they are easy to disassemble and reassemble, so the user can progressively build their skills and reach a point where no assistance is necessary.

In the process of building the catapult, the user is required to plan and analyze the steps they will follow to complete the instructions and exercise their critical thinking skills to make an attempt to understand the purpose of each individual piece provided to make improvements to their final product if needed. Through the building of the catapult, the user will learn to troubleshoot, reason based on evidence, and focus on both design and compatibility aspects of each individual part of the toy. The mechanical engineering aspects that the toy emphasizes provide room to allow the user to consider how building the catapult is similar to the process of designing a project as a professional engineer. 

Use of the toy does require some adult supervision, as ideally the product of the construction of the toy will lead to a fully functioning catapult, and the plastic balls may be a bit rough for the target audience. The instructions provided are only picture instructions, and may be difficult to follow for a younger audience. However, the duality of Catapult Shooters integrates both constructivism and hands-on fun for all future engineers. 

Framework Categories

Engineering Thinking (EThink)

Moore, T.J., Glancy, A.W., Tank, K.M., Kersten, J.A., Smith, K.A., & Stohlmann, M.S. (2014). A framework for quality K-12 engineering education: Research and development. Journal of Precollege Engineering Education Research, 4(1), 1-13.