With the weather steadily getter warmer and government guidelines having relaxed, you and the kids may find yourselves looking for exciting new activities to do outdoors.
Water balloon launchers are a great DIY contraption that the whole family can help to build and make for a super fun time when it comes to playing outside. From catapults to plastic bowls, we've come up with three fantastic ways to make and design your own - check them out!
Sling Shot Water Balloon Launcher
Inexpensive to build, easy to design, and so much fun to make - this water balloon launcher may just become your kids' new favourite toy!
You'll Need: An old pair of jeans (that you either want to throw away or turn into shorts), a pair of scissors, around 180cm of elastic rope (this can be ordered cheaply on Amazon or eBay if you don't have any at home), and a sewing machine or a needle and thread.
1) Use your scissors to cut off one leg of your jeans just beneath the knee - this is all the material that you'll need and will become the launch pad of your slingshot.
2) Tie the two ends of your elastic rope together in a tight knot, so that you're left with a large stretchy circular/squared shaped rope.
3) Thread the elastic rope through one of the open sides of your cut out jeans, pushing the rope to the outer edges so that it lines the inside length of the material and you can see two 'handles' coming out on either side.
4) Using either your sewing machine or a needle and thread, sew down the jean material tightly lining the rope within the jeans so that you end up with an 'encasing' for the rope. (This will keep the rope in place when you're using your slingshot.)
5) You're ready to sling some balloons! You'll need two people to hold a 'handle' each, and one person to stretch and pull back the jean launch pad and release it with a filled-up water balloon. Just watch and see how far they'll go!
Catapult Water Balloon Launcher
Not only is this a one-man water balloon launcher that kids will adore, but the entire family will have a great time building this catapult - and so much fun using it!
You'll Need: A wooden plank (around 91cm in length), 2 wooden blocks (around 5cm each in thickness), screws, a screwdriver, and a plastic bowl or container.
1) Screw the two wooden blocks on top of each other so that they form a singular, thick block.
2) Place the wooden block underneath one end of the plank towards either side and screw the plank down onto this.
3) When placed on the floor, you should be able to step on the end of the plank nearest to the block of wood and watch how the other side 'catapults' upwards.
4) Take your plastic bowl or container and screw (or glue) this down to the other end of the plank. (You may need to cover the tip of the screw in the bowl with tape as you might find that this pops your water balloons.)
5) Fill up your water balloons and let the kids know that it's launch time!
(Whether you're launching a singular balloon or several at once, this catapult makes for a great game of 'dodge the balloon' and is perfect for long distances. Alternatively, you may want to attempt this catapult with an even longer plank of wood and see just how far your balloons can really travel through the air!)
Plastic Bowl Water Balloon Launcher
Super simple to make and super fun to use, this plastic bowl launcher is absolutely perfect for kids to launch water balloons with! (Tip: It's also great for a party as you can make lots of them really quickly, with minimal supplies.)
You'll Need: A sturdy plastic bowl, a drill, a match, and around three and a half metres of surgical tubing.
1) Begin by drilling two holes on one 'side' of the bowl, and two holes on the other - leaving a few inches of space between the holes on each side.
2) Light your match and use this to gently melt a little bit of the plastic around each hole - this will soften the edges and prevent the sharp plastic from cutting the tubing when inserted.
3) Cut the surgical tubing in half and thread each half through both holes on either side, knotting them tightly on the inside of the bowl. This should end up looking like you've got a 'handle' on either side.
6) Finally, you can fill up your water balloons and get ready to play!
This launcher also works like a slingshot and requires three kids to use - two to stand forward and hold the 'handles' and one to pull back and release the bowl - however, unlike the first water balloon slingshot on this list, this launcher enables you to fire multiple balloons at once!
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
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