My little guy is all about being outside right now. He will stay outside until the last possible minute, riding his scooter or his bike, hitting golf balls or baseballs, and “mowing” the lawn with the fertilizer spreader (it is the perfect height)!
Last week, he went on a scavenger hunt through our back woods and brought me back a bucket full of “soup” (sticks and acorns).
In this bucket, I found the perfect opportunity to create a new outdoor toy that he would LOVE. Don’t you just love it when projects for kids are not only fun, but can also work on a whole bunch motor skills too? Double win!
Read on to see how we made our DIY slinshots!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: A few hard sticks that are about the same size length and width, yarn or string, a thick rubberband or piece of ½” elastic (the length is up to you – ours was about 8” before being stretched), and some acorns to shoot!
WHAT TO DO:
First, tie one end of the elastic or rubberband to the top of each stick. Then, have your child arrange his sticks to look like a “X”.
Next, you’ll wrap yarn around that “X” to secure the sticks together. Depending on your child’s age, it may be best if you pick the sticks up and start wrapping them from here.
Bilateral coordination is hard at work here! It was very hard for my guy (5 years old) to control the wiggly sticks while trying to manipulate the yarn. Once you get it started and it becomes more sturdy, hand the sticks and yarn back over and let him give it a shot (no pun intended :) It doesn’t need to be perfect, just tight!
After the sticks are secured together, tie that piece of yarn off and move to the top of each stick. Have your child wrap as much of these sticks as they would like! My girls wrapped up and down both sides of their slingshots to decorate them… they had to be pretty, right?
That’s it! Now, hunt for those acorns and shoot away!
Nikolas had a hard time getting the coordination down to use his slingshot at first and needed a little help. Once he got the feel of how he had to hold with one hand and pull with the other, he was so excited! He enjoyed shooting at the garage door and hearing the “ping” noise each time he hit his target!!
Side note…even my husband loved this creation! :)
HOW TO CHANGE IT UP:
-The longer the piece of elastic, the easier it will be for your child to pull. But, the acorns won’t fly as far!
-If using both hands is too difficult for your child, try holding the base of the slingshot and let them pull the elastic back. They will get the hang of it eventually!
-If you don’t have yarn or string on hand, some strong tape would work just as well — duct tape comes to mind.
SKILLS AREAS ADDRESSED: Bilateral coordination, grasp, cognitive skills, motor control, visual perception, strength, visual motor integration