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MindWare Contraptions Catapult
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- Build your own authentic catapult with planks, a little glue and the help of easy, step-by-step instructions.
- Package Contents: Pre-drilled pine planks, wood glue, cotton rope, ruler, rubber bands, cup, 3 bean-bag projectiles, target mat, fasteners and instructions.
- Age group and grade: Ages 7 - 14 years and grades 2nd - 12th
- Let the fun & experimentation begin!
- Exciting indoor activity.
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CHOKING HAZARD -- This toy is a small ball. Not for children under 3 yrs.
CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
CHOKING HAZARD -- Toy contains a small ball. Not for children under 3 yrs.
Top Customer Reviews
Use your own wood glue, like a good yellow carpenters glue.
You will need some spring clamps. Jorgensen "Pony" clamps, with the orange rubbery tips, are perfect. (they are like giant clothespins). A couple "small" and a couple of "medium" one will be fine. Check your local hardware store if you don't have these. You really cannot adequately glue up the "sticks" without clamps. We assembled two or three "stick" assemblies with glue and clamps, and left them to dry overnight. If you had a lot more clamps you could do more work in each session. As it was, it took us about 6 sessions. They don't say anything about clamping of course, but there's no way to ensure that the pieces remain tight and aligned while the glue sets up if you do not have clamps.
In Step 6, make user that the "upright supports" are perpendicular to the base. Use a square if necessary. Make sure that the holes at the top of the "upright supports" are level with each other!Read more ›
It was easy for the two of us to assemble the catapult; it took us around an hour, not including time for the glue to set. A couple of notes about assembly - I'd recommend using a hot glue gun rather than the wood glue provided, as it seemed to hold better. Also, the instructions show a "flight deck" made from one plain block, but the photo on the front of the box shows 4 plain blocks, which was what we ended up using.
It won't last forever, but it's a fun way to learn a bit about physics. We'll be buying the trebuchet kit soon.
1. the base, when assembled, needs a stabilizing force when firing.
2. The glue-drying time is a bit of trouble. If you build it today, you can fire it tomorrow--supposed to take 12 hours. It's not bad, but just the reality.
Oh--and watch out for your pre-teen daughter aiming the catapult at her father. She can be dangerous!
It was good family fun to build this and try it out.
- There are some steps where the measurements were understated. For example, you are gluing 3 pieces of wood together and it will only tell you the total length (12") of all 3 pieces and leave it up to you to determine how much piece A should overlap with B and C. If you mess it up, your Catapult will be slightly lopsided. Be a little more careful with your measurements than you are instructed to.
- I used the included glue and it is totally not enough to complete the project unless you go very light on the glue (which is a bad idea if you want your catapult to stand up to the inevitable abuse it will face at the hands of your children). It is a good idea to have some additional wood glue on hand.
- The biggest problem, in my opinion, are the wooden dowels that are supposed to be held in place with the included rubber washers. The rubber washers don't do a darn thing to hold them in place. Seriously. They just fall off immediately. I am going to figure out a solution (I might swap the dowels out with bolts of the same size) but be warned: the rubber washers are useless! It is puzzling to me in a kit of otherwise high quality that they would have such an obvious oversight.
If you are adventurous and willing to make a few modifications, this is a fun catapult to get you going! If the idea of coming up with a solution or two that is not in the instructions doesn't appeal to you, you might want to pass.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It takes too much work to put it together and the package provided way too many extra parts.Published 22 days ago by E. Nieh
My son received this for his fifth birthday; he loves it! I was heavily involved in the construction of the toy, but he was my helper--a great parent/child activity. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Emily P
This product instructions are not easy to follow. The wood on this toy is cheap and not strong enough to hold the catapult bucket. Read morePublished 1 month ago by hendrijd
Super fun!! Dad bought for our 5 year old for Christmas and they built it together and he loves it!! I would recommend for ages 5-10Published 1 month ago by Shannon Scorgie
My son loved this and had fun putting it together, but it broke after only one use. He was disappointed and so was I.Published 1 month ago by Melissa
I bought this for a 6 year old for his Birthday. This was more of a purchase for an older child. I ended up putting the whole thing together. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Twin Mommy + One
It's a powerful catapult (the rubber bands are up to the job), but the catapult is, literally, pieces of wood glued together. Read morePublished 3 months ago by TheWriterJulie