Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How to Make a Toy Slingshot

If you would consider buying "The Dangerous Book for Boys" then you will want to learn how to make a good slingshot. I learned how to make slingshots when I was a girl, though they weren't as accurate as this one. I loved learning survival skills. You never know when your ship might be wrecked and you might end up stranded on a desert island, hopefully with a pocket full of rubber bands.

I recommend this craft for upper elementary children at the youngest. They need to be responsible. They also need to be strong, to hold the slingshot steady. If they can hold it steady, they can shoot it where they want, following the important rule, "Never shoot in the direction of any person or animal."

Find a stout forked stick, about six rubber bands, and a strip of leather, canvas, or felt for the sling. I used a piece of felted sweater scrap I had in my studio, as you can see below.

Join three rubber bands for each side of the sling. Make another loop on each end to attach the rubber bands to the stick.

Now, give the child your safety rules and collect some projectiles. I favor acorns. They make a resounding smack when they hit a tree trunk in the woods, my favorite target. But you can make this a safer toy by using balled-up paper for shooting, or small nerf balls.

Stand a good distance from your target. You don't want your projectile to ricochet back towards you. Hold the slingshot straight in front of you, with the fork square to your body, and try to keep it still. Put your projectile into the sling, and pinch it from the outside of the sling with your fingers to hold it in place. Look through the fork at your target, pull the sling way back, holding your stick steady, and let it go. I find this slingshot amazingly accurate and just as much fun as it was when I was a girl.


gardenmama said...

Hi Beth!
I just showed my husband your drawings! We really love them!
lol my husband just asked my youngest son yesterday if they made the 'dangerous book for boys' just for him! : ) I can see doing this with a target, my kids would love it! I think your age advice is wise ; )

Beth said...

Thanks for the feedback, Gardenmama. Also, we tried to find jewelweed, I thought I knew what it was, but no seeds popped out. However, we did find elderberry bushes nearby!

Beth said...

Good luck and prayer for you, Beccijo!

Christie said...

This looks like massive amounts of fun!

Kelly said...

What a fun blog you have! Slingshots are great fun for boys. My eldest fashioned one for himself during the summer and had great fun with it!

The Magic Onions said...

I love this! We played with 'catti's' when we were kids... my little brother put up a target on the pole next to the sliding door, missed the target and broke the whole glass sliding door... I am smiling now at the memory... we were so scared at what my dad would say that we decided not to tell him which one of us three had done it. Such a beautiful, forgotten family memory... thanks for bringing it back.
And, thanks for sharing this on Friday's Nature Table.
Blessings and magic.

Tan Family said...

Oh, neat! I've always wondered how to make these. Thank you for the directions. This is on my list of "to do" projects with the kids for this week. :)

Anonymous said...

Who says it's only for boys? I'm looking forward to making this on a rainy day, to go with my mini bow and arrows!

Shannon said...

Thanks for the great post. I linked to you from my post for "The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had". It was the perfect activity to go with the book! http://shannonsbooknook.com/?p=6893