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Popsicle Stick Catapult Mini Football Game Craft

 Learn how to create a popsicle stick catapult game using craft sticks, perfect for football enthusiasts young and old! Whether it’s scoring goals in a “Minute to Win It” mini-football match or mastering the art of precision, this easy game day project promises a blend of creativity, strategy, and fun for all ages.

A toy catapult constructed with popsicle sticks bound together by a rubber band and a bottle cap to hold a goldfish cracker as a projectile. In the background, a goldfish cracker box and scattered crackers lie on a green, field-like tablecloth with white lines resembling a sports field

{originally published 2/3/2016 – updated 2/10/2024}

So you have the big Game Day coming up. But what do you do with the kids? If your kids are like mine, they aren’t into watching the Big Game. So here is a fun Game Day game to keep the kids entertained while the adults are watching the game. A quick and easy popsicle stick catapult football game using our favorite Goldfish® crackers!

❤️ Best Game Day Mini Football game craft

Crafting a popsicle stick catapult is the perfect Game Day activity for kids, blending fun with a dash of learning. It’s a hands-on project that sparks creativity, teaches a bit about physics, and hones problem-solving skills—all without kids even realizing they’re learning.

Plus, the excitement of launching mini footballs or other objects adds an extra layer of joy to Game Day festivities. It’s a win-win: kids have a blast, and adults get to enjoy the game with fewer interruptions.

Not to mention, kids are not the only ones who enjoy the popsicle stick catapult! Even the adults can enjoy this mini-football game as a quick and easy “Minute to Win it” game in between plays! It’s guaranteed to be a source of endless laughter.

yellow craft stick goalpost on a green tablecloth with child in background launching crackers with homemade popsicle stick catapult

🧵 Supplies

This mini catapult football game only takes a few supplies that are easy to find at your local stores.

hot glue gun next to yellow and brown craft sticks, bottle cap and rubber bands on a white tablecloth
  • hot glue gun
  • 12 large craft sticks (we used the larger ones but you can use smaller ones if you want)
  • 3 elastic bands
  • modeling/molding clay
  • markers for coloring (optional)
  • bottle cap
  • Goldfish crackers (for launching and snacking)

✍🏻 Instructions

Color The Popsicle Sticks

The first step is to color your craft sticks to match football colors. I used brown for the catapult and yellow for the goalpost. I used washable markers, but you can also use paint, markers, or stickers and decorate any way you like. Or skip this step altogether.

Build the Base:

Stack up to 8 popsicle sticks together and secure both ends with rubber bands tightly. This will be your catapult’s base.

brown craft sticks bundled together with rubber bands at each end on a white tablecloth

Create the Lever Arm:

Take 2 popsicle sticks and stack them. Wrap a rubber band tightly around one end. This pair will serve as your lever arm.

two brown popsicle sticks stacked on top of each other bundled on one end with a rubber band on a white background

Attach the Spoon or Cap:

Attach a bottle cap to the end of the top stick of your lever arm with a dab of glue. This will be where you place your “mini footballs” for launching. I just used a soda bottle cap we had lying around.

red soda bottle cap upside down on white tablecloth with a dab of hot glue in the center.
Red bottle cap secured on the top of a brown craft stick

Assemble and Secure:

Next, wedge the base stack between the two sticks of your lever arm near the rubber banded end, creating a cross shape. The base stack should be loose enough to move but tight enough to stay in place.

brown craft sticks wedged between two other craft sticks secured at ends with rubber bands to make a handmade catapult craft

Ensure everything is securely fastened with rubber bands. Adjust the tension as needed to control the launch power.

Red bottle cap secured on the top of a brown craft stick catapult lever arm

Test and Play:

Place a Goldfish cracker in the bottle cap. Press down on the end of the lever arm, then release to launch the football. Experiment with angles and pressure to see how far or high you can make your footballs fly.

Goldfish in a muffin liner next to a homemade craft stick catapult with a cracker in the red bottle cap ready to launch

You now have the catapult finished! Super easy!

homemade popsicle stick catapult on a white backdrop with a muffin liner filled with goldfish crackers and a cracker in the bottle cap ready to launch

Build the Goal Posts:

For the goal post, gather 4 large popsicle sticks. Start by aligning 2 craft sticks to form a “T” shape. Then, attach the other two sticks vertically at the ends of the horizontal stick to finish the upright arms of the goal post.

yellow craft sticks arranged on a white tablecloth in the shape of a football goal post

Glue each stick into place. To make it so that the goalpost can stand up on its own, I used a little molding clay. Shape the clay into a sturdy base and insert the goalpost into it. Now it can stand on its own!

A mound of green modeling clay formed into a base with a yellow popsicle stick inserted in the center on a white background

Now you have your catapult and goalposts, grab your favorite Goldfish crackers to launch!

A creative DIY goalpost made from yellow craft sticks standing upright on a green clay base. In the blurred background, a popsicle stick catapult with a red bottle cap and a bowl of goldfish crackers can be seen on a white crinkled tablecloth

Why Goldfish Crackers?

Because my kids are crazy about them and I always have them in our pantry. They are fun for crafting and snacking. And they make excellent snacks for game day! Plus they are light and airy so their aerodynamic is perfect for flying!

🏈 How to Play “Minute to Win It” Mini Football Catapult Game

The other great part of the popsicle stick catapult is that it’s not just a craft activity. It’s two activities in one! Now it is time to gather the kids or the adults around to play a fun “Minute to Win it” Mini football catapult game!

A toy catapult constructed with popsicle sticks bound together by a rubber band and a bottle cap to hold a goldfish cracker as a projectile. In the background, scattered crackers lie on a green, field-like tablecloth with white lines resembling a sports field

Spread out a fun Football field tablecloth. Set up the goalpost on one end and have someone with the catapult at the other end.

yellow craft stick goalpost on a green tablecloth with child in background launching crackers with homemade popsicle stick catapult

Make sure they have a fun little cup of Goldfish crackers handy for reloading after launching.

Turn them loose and see how many crackers they can get through the goalposts in a minute!

Take turns and see who can get the most!

A toy catapult constructed with popsicle sticks bound together by a rubber band and a bottle cap to hold a goldfish cracker as a projectile. In the background, scattered crackers lie on a green, field-like tablecloth with white lines resembling a sports field

The kids get to learn a little about physics and have fun all that the same time! Plus it fits perfectly as a great game to keep the kids entertained while you are watching the BIG Game!

If you have more than one kid, make multiple catapults and let each one decorate their catapult to fit their personality.

🌟 More Goldfish Crafts and Snacks

We do a lot of crafting and snacks with Goldfish crackers. You can find many of them below.

If you are planning an awesome Big Game Day for your football parties, try out our Big Game Food Ideas, Homemade Salsa and our mouthwatering bacon wrapped stuffed jalapenos.

Yield: 1 catapult and goalpost

Popsicle Stick Catapult Mini Football Game Craft

A toy catapult constructed with popsicle sticks bound together by a rubber band and a bottle cap to hold a goldfish cracker as a projectile. In the background, scattered crackers lie on a green, field-like tablecloth with white lines resembling a sports field

Spice up Game Day with an easy Popsicle stick catapult craft. This simple Minute To Win It Mini football game is perfect for kids of all ages.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Difficulty Easy

Materials

  • 12 large craft sticks
  • 3 elastic bands
  • Modeling/molding clay
  • Bottle cap
  • Goldfish crackers (for launching and snacking)

Tools

  • Hot glue gun
  • Glue Stick
  • Markers for coloring (optional)

Instructions

Color The Popsicle Sticks

The first step is to color your craft sticks to match football colors. I used brown for the catapult and yellow for the goalpost. I used washable markers, but you can also use paint, markers, or stickers and decorate any way you like. Or skip this step altogether.

Build the Base:

Stack up to 8 popsicle sticks together and secure both ends with rubber bands tightly. This will be your catapult’s base.

Create the Lever Arm:

Take 2 popsicle sticks and stack them. Wrap a rubber band tightly around one end. This pair will serve as your lever arm.

Attach the Spoon or Cap:

Attach a bottle cap to the end of the top stick of your lever arm with a dab of glue. This will be where you place your “mini footballs” for launching. I just used a soda bottle cap we had lying around.

Assemble and Secure:

Next, wedge the base stack between the two sticks of your lever arm near the rubber banded end, creating a cross shape. The base stack should be loose enough to move but tight enough to stay in place.

Ensure everything is securely fastened with rubber bands. Adjust the tension as needed to control the launch power.

Build the Goal Posts:

For the goal post, gather 4 large popsicle sticks. Start by aligning 2 craft sticks to form a “T” shape. Then, attach the other two sticks vertically at the ends of the horizontal stick to finish the upright arms of the goal post.

Glue each stick into place. To make it so that the goalpost can stand up on its own, I used a little molding clay. Shape the clay into a sturdy base and insert the goalpost into it. Now it can stand on its own!

Test and Play:

Place a Goldfish cracker in the bottle cap. Press down on the end of the lever arm, then release to launch the football. Experiment with angles and pressure to see how far or high you can make your footballs fly.

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Jennifer

Thursday 4th of February 2016

How fun is that!?! This is like paper football on steroids. I think I need to make this.

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