I have a bit of a thing for catapults, even a catapult for kids. So, when I started looking for a mini catapult for my young son to put together, I was a bit fussy. But, when I saw the Catapult Kit by Abong, I was delighted. It uses a very simple, but accurate design and has no unnecessary parts. And I have to say, I was pretty impressed with it once we got it. I was pretty happy with the price too. When I ordered it, it was less than $20 and a little shipping.
Mini Catapult Specifications
I liked this model because it was small, but was still a complete and cool, mini catapult. It’s made out of soft wood, which can be stained if you want. Amazon lists its specifications as follows:
Footprint: 20cm (8″) x 10cm (4″)
Axle Height: 14cm (5.5″)
Throwing Arm: 20cm (8″) [4:1 Ratio]
Motive Power: Twisted cord
Range: 4m (12′)
The ordering process was easy, of course. I ordered it from Amazon.com and it arrived three days later. I really like their simple, no-hassle ordering process.
Easy to Assemble
The kit comes with all of the pre-cut, pre-drilled pieces you need to create the catapult shown in the picture. It does require some wood glue which is not included. The build time was pretty fast, even with a nine year old doing most of it. There was a bit of sadness when he found out that we had to let it dry overnight.
The instructions are detailed and clear. Following them was not difficult at all, but you do have to follow them. A child can put it together, with supervision, but might require help in one or two places.
The listed range is twelve (12) feet. Woohoo! You can get better than that with the wind at your back. Be careful about putting something hard in it, like a marble, because it can fling it hard enough to crack glass. The range is controlled by the torsion in the supplied cord. You can increase the distance by increasing the tension in the cord.
Good Catapult for Kids
This is a great little toy for kids. It is lightweight, small and portable. And it’s fun! I know I wanted a catapult when I was little. Of course, now I have a few. (I love being growed up!) As long as you only fling the lightweight hurling stones it won’t hurt anyone and it is too soft to fling anything heavy.
It is operated by pulling the firing arm down with one hand and loading it with the other. To fire it, just let go of the arm. Even my little ones figured it out and were playing with it without any problems. Though they did argue over who’s turn it was. (Okay, kids. Make Daddy proud and settle this like proper gladiators!)
The mechanical workings of the catapult are easy to see and understand. And kids can directly affect the distance by adjusting the tension in the cord, so they can see the physics at work. This mini catapult uses the proper design and principals of the original catapults, so it can be used in a science project or demonstration at school.
This style catapult was originally called an Onager because of the kick it gave. This catapult bucks when it launches, which is exactly the problem that used to occur in the larger ones. With this small one, though, the kick can be stopped with two fingers, but it still shows one reason why people moved to the trebuchet.
I would definitely recommend this medieval siege-engine kit from Abong as my choice of mini catapult for kids. Get it from Amazon.com with this link -> Mini Catapult for Kids by Abong. Lots of fun, good price and easy to build. It has been a blast for the little ones. My only real problem is that I ordered only one catapult for three kids.