Leap Day Catapult Game
Ah, Leap Day. It’s a day that comes around once every four years. It deserves a little fun, don’t you think?
Wait, wait… I’m sorry I can’t do this.
I need to apologize for the lackluster introduction to today’s post. I spent hours on the internet trying to figure out how I could cleverly introduce this Leap Day game. I tried looking up historical references, traditions, parties and nadda. I mean, there wasn’t even anything on pinterest. I mean, it’s pinterest! If no one’s pinned it, well then, it must not exist. So I’m just going to have to go with plan B, the direct approach…
Today, I’m bringing you a leap day catapult game. I got the idea from this youtube video and frogs. ‘Cause they leap.
This is a great activity for kids to practice iteration, which is essential for creativity, problem solving and innovation.
For instance, my first attempt did not include a flower on top of the lily pad. When I noticed the game pieces bouncing right off the pad, I realized it’d be easier if there was something to ‘capture’ the pieces. After a couple experiments, I found using soft tissue paper worked best. The pieces didn’t bounce or fly off like they do on hard surfaces.
I’m sure there’s a physics lesson in here somewhere. Something about the tissue paper absorbing the energy better than the flat, hard surface of cardboard. I’ll leave that up to the you all to investigate further.
There’s lots of room to expand here. Feel free to change/switch up any materials I’ve used. In fact, I encourage it.
Okay, let’s get to it, shall we?
Cardboard or heavy weight paper (a piece of card stock or index card will do)
Pen or marker (optional)
Tissue paper (also optional)
Cut a strip of cardboard. Bend paper clip (as pictures) and attach it to one end of the strip of cardboard with tape.
Take a small piece of cardboard and place it over the paperclip. To do this, use scissors to cut interior of the cardboard (the wavy bit inside). Experiment with size and shape (large rectangle, circle, etc). Also try applying glue to the paperclip, then slipping on cardboard to prevent sliding around.
Time to make the other game pieces. Cut out a circle out of cardboard. This is the landing pad. Use small bits of cardboard for playing pieces. I painted mine green to represent frogs.
Step 4 optional
Use a 3 inch wide strip of tissue paper, to make a flower/bowl shape. I used the same technique of winding and pinching as I did here. Affix to landing pad with hot glue.