Build It Program At the Library!

Built It Program

One of the programs that I do for school aged children at the library is a “Build It” program.   This is an event in which children construct a hands-on project that is fun and functional.  Ideas include marshmallow shooters, two liter bottle rockets, and balloon cars.

I was inspired to do a “Build It” program out of sheer frustration with being inept at crafts.  I have tried for years to do crafts programs at the library.  While many have been successful, I can say that I honestly do not have the enthusiasm for crafts that some of my coworkers do.   Early this year, I decided to throw in the towel and start focusing on constructing things with kids that had a purpose.    PVC pipe, screws and 2X4’s, would trump glitter, pipe cleaners, and pom poms!

One of my “Build It” programs focused on building medieval siege weapons!  Kids constructed a mini catapult using popsicle sticks, rubber bands, and bottle caps.  We played some games with the mini catapults–knocking down cups, who can shoot the farthest, etc.

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Then we went outside and I introduced them to the trebuchet that my coworker and I had been building for the past week.  Below are some pictures of it under construction.  Our trebuchet was about 5 feet tall by 3 feet wide.  I used the plans that some high school girls had posted on line at this Instructables site.

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During the Build It program, I did not allow kids near the trebuchet.  This is important because of safety.  The counterweight that we used was a 45 lb kettlebell that can hurl an object about 150 feet.   We used our trebuchet to launch water balloons at the kids out in a field.  This was perfectly safe and the kids had a blast trying to catch the balloons.  It was a great time at the library!  Please see the below video that I made for some early childhood educators to see how our trebuchet works.

 

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