First, we laid everything out according to the chart. This was to help keep his interest in the product, as he gets distracted very easily. The pieces are all made of wood, and well-cut. No splinters, no broken pieces or anything. Then, we assembled the catapult according to the instructions BEFORE we glued anything together. This is the smart thing to do, as some of the pieces do not fit perfectly together (the kit comes with a small bit of sandpaper to file down the pieces so they fit snugly). At this point I did NOT tie the strings in place yet.
Next, I disassembled the catapult and he watched me glue it together (I used this as a teaching tool for him). There isnt enough glue for the entire model, in my opinion. So, next model I will make a trip to the hobby store and purchase a bit more, just to insure the model is tight all around. Just my preference.
Thirdly, after gluing all the pieces in the appropriate place, i tied the strings in place after carefully ensuring the correct way was obvious.
Fourthly, We used Pill Pockets (dog medicine treats) as ammunition after our little Tiki tried to eat one of the clay projectiles we made. Little rat. So, we figured we would make treats the dogs would chase and make it fun for them as well. As you can see in this video, it works wonderfully! Very stable, easy to operate. We probably fired stuff of it for about an hour, and it is still in excellent shape.
This was a great Saturday afternoon project for he and I, and I am looking forward to purchasing more of Leonardo's stuff for future projects. Hey- at least he got off the Minecraft.