And you wanna know the best part about today's craft? You can make one yourself in less than 10 minutes. Cool right? Wanna know how? Keep reading to find out!
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Full Disclosure:Before we begin, I gotta give credit where credit is due. We recently checked out the amazing book
Rubber Band Engineer from our library. It's the bomb. (Does that saying date me? Probably. But I'll stand by my word choice because the book is truly phenomenal.)
The author is a STEAM and rubber band genius. He shares lots of fun ways to build simple rubber band gadgets with your kids. All the projects in the book shoot, move, and/or fly. My son was practically drooling over the images and has already ear marked several ideas for us to try out.
Today's project is the first one from the book. So if you like this idea, definitely check the book out!
Let's Make a Pom Pom Shooter:
1. Grab a paint stirrer. That's going to be the base of your shooting toy. (But as you'll read in the book, you could modify the design and build the shooter on anything.)
2. Grab some sand paper and sand your paint stirrer. (I'm not sure if I have super delicate hands, but I found the paint stirrer to be kinda scratchy. So we sanded the rougher bits down. My son was delighted to use the sand paper because it felt like a real wood working project.)
3. Now grab a binder clip and a rubber band. We used a smaller binder clip because the big ones didn't hold rubber bands as well. We also used a thinner rubber band because it stretched farther. You could use a thicker one, but you'll just have to modify where your trigger (clothes pin) is then placed. Either way, it'll be a great conversation to have with the kids.
Use your binder clip to clip your rubber band to one end of the paint stirrer.
4. Grab some duct tape and a clothes pin. Optional step: Use the duct tape to wrap around the other end of your paint stirrer (to protect your hands from any scratchy bits.)
5. Then, duct tape your clothespin onto the other end of the paint stirrer.
This clothespin will act as the trigger. So be sure that (a) you use a night tight clothes pin and (b) your clothes pin is taped somewhere where your rubber band can stretch. Our red rubber band could be stretched all the way to the base of the paint stirrer. But after it snapped we replaced it with a thicker, less stretchy rubber band. It couldn't be stretched to the end, so we moved our clothespin up to accommodate that.
6. It's built! But you gotta do the last and final step- decorate your shooter with Sharpie Markers! You know me, I like my crafts to be functional and pretty!
Now you're ready to load up your shooter. Pull the rubber band using 2 fingers and clip it into your clothespin to load the shooter.
Place a pom pom in place. Press down on the clothespin to let it fly! (If you want to keep the STEAM learning going, you could talk about how the rubber band stores energy as it's stretched. Or you could experiment with different sized pom poms. Or, try using rubber bands of differing thicknesses.)
Here's a video showing the pom pom shooter shooting.
(Apologies for the poor quality. Video editing is not one of my fortes.) Hopefully it'll give you a picture of how it works!)
Pom Pom Shooter Movie from Pink Stripey Socks on Vimeo.
Built More Awesome STEAM Projects!
Get ready to craft and explore STEAM ideas with kids!
And, I just realized that this would be a pretty amazing summer camp craft. So here are some other fun summer crafts that would be fun to go along with this one!
6 Super Fun (Not Your Typical) Summer Camp Crafts:
Happy making, friends!