Fling "fallen foliage" into a compost pile with a nine-step trebuchet.
After you've built your trebuchet, watch the video above to see how to set up your leaf launcher!
What You’ll Need
One swing arm. Glue four craft sticks together as shown.
Four frame pieces. Glue three craft sticks together, as shown. Repeat three more times.
Three 9-inch lengths of yarn.
Two paper clips, bent as shown.
Counterweight. Punch two holes into a small plastic cup.
Sling. Fold a piece of felt in half and cut out an egg shape. Add two staples and punch two holes, as shown.
What You’ll Do
For the base, cut off the top and short sides of a rectangular tissue box, leaving a triangle in each bottom corner.
Glue two frame pieces and one craft stick together, as shown, to make a frame. Do the same with the other frame pieces. Let the glue dry.
Glue the frames to the walls of the base.
Tape the bottom arm of a binder clip to the base.
Ask an adult to use a low-temperature glue gun or duct tape to attach the bent paper clips and a piece of wide straw to the swing arm, as shown.
Add a yarn hanger to the plastic cup. Trim the extra yarn. Loop a paper clip around the hanger. Fill the cup with small heavy objects.
Tie yarn to each hole of the sling. Make a loop at the end of one piece of yarn. Tie the end of the other piece of yarn to the paper clip at the long end of the swing arm.
Slide a pencil through the straw on the swing arm. Fasten the pencil to the frame using rubber bands.
Last, create some small leaves out of air-dry clay.
How to Play
1. Place the loop of the sling around the "finger" on the swing arm.
2. Place a leaf in the sling, between the two layers of felt.
3. Pull the sling through the base and clamp it into the binder clip.
4. Loop the counterweight around the "hook" at the short end of the swing arm.
5. Place the compost pile about six feet away. Clear the area. Stay to the side of the trebuchet.
6. Aim the trebuchet. (The binder clip should be on the end nearest the compost pile.) Press down on the binder clip to release the sling.
7. Did the leaf land in the pile? Reload the sling. Bend the "finger" to change the angle of the sling's release.