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Catapult Math

Catapults are cool. Math is cool. So when we put the two together, it felt like we reached a place. An ethereal place, if you will. Ok, maybe that was a tad dramatic. For sure though, it was fun and the kids thoroughly enjoyed each step of the process. From making the catapults to completing equations, the kids experienced a delightful intersection of math and science; a place where gaming and playfulness teach some fundamental concepts of math and physics. I imagine that does hold a place in the cosmos...

Essentially, the game is played like this:

1. Lay the board on the floor. One person decides whether they want to add or subtract. Place a pom in the circle containing the appropriate symbol.

2. Use your catapult to aim for a spot within the target. Once two numbers have been landed on, respectively add or subtract those numbers. TA-DA!

There are a bunch of ways this game could be played. A more casual approach is simply to see who hits the "30" first. Coming up with the game rules is part of the fun and enhances the overall learning capacity of this board. Have fun with it!

Creating the catapults was also fun! We certainly did not come up with this idea and there are many available instructions online.

We really like this catapult idea from Mum in the Mad House:

Making the catapults is quite easy. However some of our 6 year olds had trouble with twisting and turning the rubber bands. Otherwise, they loved the project. We decorated them afterwards, adding a bit of art fun and personalization to our catapults. Then off to the floor with our cardboard game we went!

Even the Oliver, the dog, enjoyed this game! (What a snoochie lovebug.)

The game was a hit! We will bust this baby out in the future. Because of the versatility, I suspect we will find many a good uses for this board. Consequently, the 20 minutes I spent making it was well worth the effort! Read on.


*Large piece of cardboard


*Kwik sticks, paint or sharpies


1. Sketch out a general template with your pencil. Start with the large circle in the middle and draw 5 rings around it. Add circles for the math methods (i.e subtraction, addition, multiplication, etc.)

2. Color over your template with your choice of kwik sticks, sharpies or paint.

3. Add a title to the top.

4. Let the paint dry and add the numbers and symbols.

That's it! Now lay the board on the ground and bring forth the most epic catapult-math battle ever! Have fun with it! Thanks ever so much for reading! Have a wonderful day.

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