Launching marshmallows, flinging marshmallows, catapulting marshmallows! Marshmallows everywhere, but this time we made our catapult out of marshmallows. This easy marshmallow catapult or marshmallow launcher is perfect for that stuck inside kind of day or while roasting marshmallows around the campfire. Easy STEM activities for kids make great play!

Marshmallow catapult activity for easy kids STEMPin

Setting Up STEM Projects For Kids

Calling all junior scientists, engineers, explorers, inventors, and the like to dive into a simple engineering project for kids. We love STEM activities you can really do, and that really work!

Whether you are tackling STEM in the classroom, with small groups, or in your own home, our easy STEM projects projects are the perfect way for kids to find out how fun STEM can be. But what is STEM?

The simple answer is to break down the acronym! STEM is really science, technology, engineering, and math. A good STEM project will intertwine two or more of these concepts to complete the project or to solve a problem.

Almost every good science or engineering project is really a STEM project because you have to pull from different resources to complete it! Results happen when many different factors fall into place. Technology and math are also important to work into the framework of STEM whether it’s through research or measurements.

It’s important that kids can navigate the technology and engineering portions of STEM needed for a successful future, but that’s not limited to building expensive robots or being stuck on screens for hours. Instead have fun with hands-on building activities like this pencil catapult below!

Grab this FREE Engineering Challenge Calendar today!

How To Make A Marshmallow Catapult

Materials Needed: 

  • Jumbo Marshmallows {4}
  • Mini Marshmallows {launchers}
  • Wooden Skewers (7)
  • Plastic Spoon
  • Rubberband
  • Tape


1. Place three marshmallows in a triangle shape on a table. Connect with skewers. Your triangle should lay on the table.

2. Take a skewer and stick it into the top of each marshmallow roughly.

Marshmallow Catapult

3. Bring the tops of the skewers together in the middle and stick all of them into one marshmallow. (See the photo above)

4. Tape a spoon to another skewer. Stick this skewer into one of the marshmallows below the skewer already in place.

5. Take the rubber band and wind around spoon and then loop end of rubber band around marshmallow and bringing it underneath the marshmallow {should not be on marshmallow}.


Launch Your Marshmallows

Now is the fun part! Time to test your marshmallow catapult! We used mini marshmallows as our launchers. You could also use mini pencil erasers or anything else you think will launch well without breaking anything or injuring someone.

With one hand gently hold down the jumbo marshmallow that has the skewer spoon stuck in it. With the other hand push down the lever filling the marshmallow with potential energy! Let it go and check out all the kinetic energy your mini marshmallow now has.

Grab a measuring tape and see if you can beat your best distance. Can you do anything differently to change the distance your mini marshmallow travels?


How Does A Catapult Work?

This is a great simple physics activity for kids of multiple ages. What is there to explore that has to do with physics? Let’s start with energy including elastic potential energy. You can also learn about projectile motion.

Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion state that an object at rest stays at rest until a force is applied, and an object stays in motion until something creates an imbalance. Every action causes a reaction.

When you pull down the lever arm all that potential energy gets stored up! Release it and that potential energy gradually changes over to kinetic energy. Gravity also does its part as it pulls the object back down to the ground.

Learn more about potential and kinetic energy.

You can talk about stored energy or potential elastic energy as you pull back on the spoon, bending it. When you release the spoon, all that potential energy is released into energy in motion producing the projectile motion.

A catapult is a simple machine that has been around for ages. Have your kids dig up a little history and research when the first catapults were invented and used! Hint; check out the 17th century!

TIP: Check out more fun simple machine projects and grab the simple machine worksheets!

More Fun Catapult Designs

Take your experimentation even further and compare the results with different types of catapults? Is one better than the other? Does one launch different items better then another?

STEM Activities With Marshmallows

Want more fun things to do with marshmallows? Try these ideas…

Printable STEM Project Pack For Kids

80+ Doable Engineering Projects in one convenient pack!

  • Full instructions with sample images
  • Activity-specific instruction sheets
  • Data Collection Sheets
  • Questions for Reflection
  • Architecture Building Cards: Try the tallest tower challenge
  • Bridge Building Cards: Explore different types of bridges to build your own.
  • Paper Chain STEM Challenge: Who can make the longest chain? Great icebreaker or quick challenge!
  • 3 Little Pigs Architectural Pack: Design a house that won’t blow away!
  • Great marshmallow challenge: A classic challenge kids love!
  • Real-world STEM challenge lesson but don’t know where to start? Our easy-to-follow template shows the steps!
  • What’s the difference between a scientist and an engineer?
  • Crossword and word search with engineering vocabulary.
  • Engineering vocabulary cards
  • Design a one-of-a-kind invention and write about it with this 5-page activity! 


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