September 30, 2011

Mini Marshmallow Shooters (or Pom Pom Poppers)

A few months ago, when I was first introduced to Pinterest, I came across this idea from Real Simple.  I thought it looked like something the kids would enjoy, but we just never got around to doing it over the summer.  Then this week the kids had a day off school and it was the first day it didn't rain in what seems like ages!  I gathered up some balloons, plastic cups, mini marshmallows and pom poms and we had a great time.  These little contraptions are really easy and inexpensive to make, but boy, can they really launch a marshmallow!



Here's how we made ours ( I made a few small changes from the original idea)

You'll need:




* plastic cups (ours were 9 oz)

* balloons ( ours were 12")

* mini marshmallows (or pom poms)

* scissors (not pictured)









And here's what you need to do:

1.  Cut the bottom part off of your plastic cup.  I found it worked best to double up the cups and I cut off the bottom third.

See how there's two cups nestled together?

 2.  Tie a knot at the end of your balloon and cut off about 1/2" from the other end.


3.  Now stretch the balloon over the end of the cup.  I found it worked best to put the balloon on the top part of the cup where the lip is, otherwise the cup would bend too much when I put the balloon on.  Perhaps if you have a sturdier cup, you wouldn't need to use two cups together and you could put the balloon on the cut end (like in the original), but our way worked really well for us.  (UPDATE:  A commenter said she used a empty yogurt container and it worked well ~ good idea since some brands tend to be pretty sturdy, plus you're recycling!) 


That's it!  Now it's time to do some launching!  Just put your marshmallow inside the cup on the knotted center, then aim the cup away from you, pull back on the outer knot and launch away!

The face says it all ~ he LOVED it!


**NOTE** The marshmallows went MUCH farther than the pom poms, but I have enough problems with food in unwanted places inside the house.  There was no way I was going to intentionally encourage the kids to shoot more food around!  Therefore, my rule with these fun new toys was marshmallows outside, only pom poms inside.  (I know I'll still be finding pom poms in hidden corners for the next several months, but at least they won't be covered with ants!)

Check out the fun we had at a local park (our backyard was too much of a muddy mess)

Ready to launch!

We drew a launching line with sidewalk chalk.



He loved it!

Several marshmallows in at a time don't go as far, but it was fun to watch them burst out.


We also shot a pom pom straight up in the air, then tried to catch it in the cup.


It's a little tough to see, but we drew targets in chalk on the cement.

He's marking the spot where my marshmallow landed ~ Look how far it went!!!


 These were so inexpensive and easy to make and sooo much fun, that we'll definitely be launching some more marshmallows (outside, of course!) and pom poms (inside, but not at each other!) soon!



109 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. This will be an amazing present for my ten year old brothers birthday. What boy wouldn't love launching marshmallows through the air? Thanks for your help!

      Delete
    2. THANK YOU for sharing this idea! Simple. FUN! I plan to use it as an opener activity 1st day of our Mom-2-Mom Coop Class for Kids! All ages together. They'll love the activity and we'll take to the church parking lot to wow the moms with our shooting ability. BET some moms want to try shooting!

      Delete
  2. these look so fun! you always have the coolest stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Are you sure you're not a homeschooler? Thank you for another great craft activity!

    ReplyDelete
  4. OMG that is so adorable! I know what we are going to do today after school

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow, this is super cute and really easy looking!! My family is going to love this! :) Thank you for posting

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ok, let me start again with this comment. LOL! I looove these! My 7-year-old will get a kick out of making a few of these. I can totally see him shooting marshmallows at Daddy. Haha! Awesome idea! Sorry about the first comment, I mentioned coming to check out my pumpkin play dough and then it dawned on me that you already had. Wow. I need more coffee. Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great tips on making these. I saw the original idea as well, but like to hear real world experiences. Glad to know they were such a hit!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh my goodness, my boys will LOVE these. Thanks!

    Jenny @ Jengerbread Creations

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great idea...my son would love it! Come link up at the Creative Genius Link Party! http://thecreativepaige.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh my goodness. My kids are going to love this! Pinning it now!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm wondering if I can toast some stale bread squares and use these to launch bread to the ducks at the park. They get a little too close for this mom's comfort.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Becky said...

    I'm wondering if I can toast some stale bread squares and use these to launch bread to the ducks at the park. They get a little too close for this mom's comfort.

    Oh my goodness, that's an awesome idea! The ducks always freak me out too!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Fantastic! My boys have a couple different versions of marshmallow launchers, but this is the least complicated one I've seen.

    ReplyDelete
  15. My boys would love this! I hope you will link up with me here:
    http://www.thegingerbreadblog.com/2011/09/sweet-saturday-v7.html

    ReplyDelete
  16. How fun!! My son is going to love this! Welcome over to my site to share this at my link party on Monday!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love this! Thank you so much. We used the yogurt containers leftover from lunch :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh dear, we may have to try these at our house! My kids have tried the bigger ones made out of pvc pipe, but these look like a lot of fun and safer!

    ReplyDelete
  19. just a thought, isnt it a waste of food if we're just gonna play with it and not eat it? maybe we can replace it with other soft stuff :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marshmallows are not food. Putting something in your mouth does not make it food.

      Delete
  20. Lol...looks like they had a great time with it.
    Very cute idea!

    ReplyDelete
  21. So fun! My boys will love this. Great idea. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love this idea. Perfect for little boys, thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  23. We did it! It was so much fun!

    http://csupamoka2.blogspot.com/2011/10/lufis-kilovo.html

    ReplyDelete
  24. This is such a fun idea! I have seen the marshmallow guns but I've never seen these! They look like something I would love to do too...ha ha. Thanks for sharing this! I have a party going on over at my blog that is dedicated to using your craft stash items. The link is open for most of October and I would love to have you join! Here is the link if you are interested: http://mylilpumpkinpatch.blogspot.com/2011/10/document.html

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi! I just posted our marshmallow shooters! Take a look!
    http://jamesandleighann.blogspot.com/2011/10/marshmallow-shooters.html

    ReplyDelete
  26. My boys would love this. Thank you so much for linking up!

    Sharing it over on Facebook too.

    ReplyDelete
  27. We did this today. It was awesome. Then we took it a bit further and added side walk chalk paintballs. Heaps of fun. So fun i had to blog about it tonight. I put a link onto your page to give you cred's. Thanks again.

    http://halfdonemum.blogspot.com/2011/10/home-made-shooter-side-walk-paintballs.html

    ReplyDelete
  28. How simple & FUN! This looks so cool for kids & us adults!!!

    Thanks for linking to the Sunday Showcase & hope to see you this week - http://momto2poshlildivas.blogspot.com/search/label/Sunday%20Showcase

    Bern

    ReplyDelete
  29. This is such an awesome idea! So glad I saw your post featured over at Milk & Cuddles! I think I have everything I need on hand -- so perfect since my girls are on Fall Break this week!

    Jenn

    ReplyDelete
  30. Love this idea! I'm going to use it for Sunday School! This would be a perfect birthday party activity as well! We made catapults once at my son's 'knight' party, but these would have been so much easier!
    --michellepaige.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I forgot to mention, I'm your newest follower.
    --michellepaige.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. totally LOVE it! I had pinned this before I even saw the tutorial! it just looks like too much fun!

    thanks for linking up to Mom it monday! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  33. That would be cool to do with bird seeds or croutons for the birds out in the park!

    ReplyDelete
  34. That looks like so much fun- my boys would have a blast!!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Made these for a neighborhood party I hosted. I ended up using the really large marshmallows instead of the tiny ones. At least for me it worked out better, as I was having the kids try and get them into a bucket. ;) Thanks for the very awesome and fun idea. :)

    Lori

    ReplyDelete
  36. We had to post our pavillon as a "No Marshmallow Zone" at the Family Reunion.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I just did this but I used an empty yogurt cup- works great!

    ReplyDelete
  38. my kid made this with a toilet paper tube,and shot pennies at his sister... they leave BIG marks!

    ReplyDelete
  39. This is truly brilliant! It's going in my "Fun with Grandkiddies" file!

    ReplyDelete
  40. We had so much fun with these today!

    http://parentsinprogress.wordpress.com/2012/02/18/marshmallow-shooting-fun/

    ReplyDelete
  41. I just drove my dog crazy trying to chase my launched mini marshmallows! I had to modify a bit as I didn't have any cups, so I cut off the top third of a water bottle. Works great! My summer campers will think this is a big hit!

    ReplyDelete
  42. this is tooootally awesome! i can't wait until it's a bit warmer out and we can do this!! *pinned it*

    ReplyDelete
  43. Empty, rinsed apple sauce or pudding containers from lunch might work too

    ReplyDelete
  44. making these to launch "angry bird" pom poms at a party this weekend

    ReplyDelete
  45. Did this with my son's Cub Scout den ... they absolutely loved it!

    ReplyDelete
  46. We tried this today, but the cups kept ripping. Finally cut off a soda bottle, and used the neck opening to stretch the balloon over. Kept it in place by a tight rubber band. Grandkids loved it.

    ReplyDelete
  47. This looks like soooooo much fun! I plan on doing this with kids I teach crafts to at a Transitional Housing Apartment. Thanks so much for sharing. ~~Robyne~~

    ReplyDelete
  48. This will be great to do with kids. Hope you don't mind that I am repinning the idea

    ReplyDelete
  49. I know most will be creating these to use with their kids...but my fiancé is a kid at heart and he will LOVE this! I need to go pick up some balloons! =)

    ReplyDelete
  50. Doing this as an activity for my sons birthday party. My dd & I just tested them & they shot over our fence!!!

    ReplyDelete
  51. I can't wait to give this activity a try! My boys will LOVE it. Thanks for sharing!!

    ReplyDelete
  52. We made these the other day at my 8-year-old son's birthday party. They were a huge hit! So simple, inexpensive and lots of fun. I blogged a about it with a link back to you. Thanks for the great idea and the great directions. (I found you on Pinterest, by the way.)

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hi there! Found this posted in Pinterest and I happen to be planning my son's b-day party at the park for this weekend. I am SO going to try this. Thanks for sharing this cute idea!

    ReplyDelete
  54. I am looking through your blog with my 9 year old daughter when we saw the marshmellow poppers. When we were looking at the kids shooting them she commented, " they aren't paying attention to the yummy goodness of what they are shooting!" Too funny. Maybe my kids will aim for each others mouths. :)

    ReplyDelete
  55. This may be a dumb question, but... what happens to the marshmallows on the ground? Do the birds eat them, or do they melt when it rains, or do people step on them and track them into the house? I definitely want to do this at our annual Cousins Camp next month, but I'd like to know what I'm getting into! :)

    ReplyDelete
  56. This is brilliant. Your son catching the balls reminds me of a toy I had that pinged a ball out and you had to catch it. You could also use rolled up bits of cooking foil, I think they would go far. You could also set up targets to improve their aim.

    ReplyDelete
  57. OMG these might be the most fun we have had all summer! We also used Dixie cups and that works really well. Shot them straight up and they go farther. LOVE THIS!

    ReplyDelete
  58. Just spotted this on Pinterest. Clever idea! I'm going to try balling up hunks of bread and have the boys feed the birds/ducks while we're at it! Marshmallows sound fun - but not the ants that are sure to follow. Thanks again for the cool post!

    ReplyDelete
  59. I've been trying to make these this morning and am frustrated! I'm only cutting a tiny bit off the balloon but having a hard time getting it to stretch over the cup and then an even harder time getting it to stay. I'm tempted to blow up the balloons first just to stretch out the rubber a bit before I put them on--maybe they'll stay put better.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Oh no, Heidi. The only thing I can think of is that your cups are a little bigger than ours or your balloons are a little smaller. Ours were 9oz cups and 12 inch balloons. How big are yours?

    ReplyDelete
  61. Tried it with the cups and had a hard time getting the balloon to stay on, plus the cup kept collapsing in. I ended up using an empty water bottle instead. I cut off the bottom of the bottle and put the balloon on the "spout" end of the bottle. It works great!

    ReplyDelete
  62. Gaylyn ShoemakerJuly 14, 2012 at 1:00 AM

    I used 2 9 oz cups and cut them at the same time with a "hot knife." I then ran a strip of black duct tape around the cups which not only held the balloon on but I turned a little bit down over the rough edge of the cup and it made it stronger and sturdier! It made it so it would last SO MUCH longer and the rough part of the cup wouldn't tear. I used it for a church lesson where it was talking about "firey darts of the adversary!" They had to NOT get hit and there were safe places where they could stand. Oh,if you are worrying about cleaning them up, the birds...especially sea birds and pidgeons take care of that! Great project! Thanks so MUCH!

    ReplyDelete
  63. Awesome idea! I think I might bring some stuff to make these this weekend on our camping trip!

    ReplyDelete
  64. I saw the pic on Pinterest and followed it back here. What a great idea. I made one with my daughter and now she is shooting treats in the yard for the dogs.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Looks like such a fun idea! Can't wait to make this for my little guy...and me too :). I might do my own post and link it back here, it that alright with you?

    ReplyDelete
  66. Absolutely, Michelle! Have fun with it!

    ReplyDelete
  67. I wonder about a toilet paper tube!?

    ReplyDelete
  68. have had this pinned for a while and finally did it today, big hit with my girls, thanks for something cheap and playful to keep the holiday boredom at bay :D

    ReplyDelete
  69. hilarious! can't wait to try this with my son! thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  70. Wonder if Cheese Balls would work? Gonna try this with my cousins.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Totally Awesome!!! We loved it! Great idea. It was the perfect solution to a bored little boy! Thanks so much !!!:)

    ReplyDelete
  72. Absolutely LOVE this!!! We actually used some stale crackers and cheerios and launched them at the park for the ducks! :) Thank you for taking the time to post such great ideas!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay, I'm so glad you had fun with it. Smart thinking to launch them at the ducks ~ kept those guys at a safe distance! :)

      Delete
  73. hi my name is alli i tried this with my g-ma amd it work good

    ReplyDelete
  74. This is such a fun idea! So glad we found your blog! Our kids are going to love this. We like the pom poms for inside and marshmallows for outside! :) We would love to have you link up to our Strut Your Stuff Saturday and share this. Sixsistersstuff.com. -The Six Sisters

    ReplyDelete
  75. OMG Love these!! I just found them on pinterest!!! I put numbers on the part you cut off to use as targets!!

    ReplyDelete
  76. After our cups mangled, we used a shallow can and our cool can opener instead of the plastic cup. The can opener somehow cuts the top of, leaving no sharp edges!

    ReplyDelete
  77. My boyfriend's two little nieces will love me for introducing them to this funny game! :D

    Thank you for sharing <3

    Hugs
    Frida

    www.fridaspeach.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  78. Used a hacksaw to cut a mailing tube into 2 inch sections and clear package tape to secure the 12" balloons. Durable!

    ReplyDelete
  79. awesome i wonder if it would work if you were going to shoot a marshmello in hot chocolate

    ReplyDelete
  80. So cool. I can't wait to try this at our next play date!

    ReplyDelete
  81. Thanks for this! We'll be making these as a craft/game for my boys' Angry Birds birthday party (we'll buy pom-poms in primary colors and pretend they're tiny birds). I'm sure the kids will have a blast! Personally, i LOVE the fact that they can do it in the house and the projectiles won't hurt anyone/damage anything!

    ReplyDelete
  82. Doing this for our grandson's 8th birthday party! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  83. Thank you very much. Just made this in the UK and my son loved it. Used an old Tesco bubble pot which is pretty sturdy! My one year old is also very entertained trying to steal the pompom! Thanks. Emma, Alexander and Catherine

    ReplyDelete
  84. Deffinitely using this idea with the two boys I nanny!
    Thank you for an easy way to entertain two active kids :)

    ReplyDelete
  85. Love this! We made a couple this morning and will be doing them for a boy's craft class on Monday. I so appreciate your note about using 12" balloons. The 9" ones don't quite do it and that's what I had mostly in my stash.

    ReplyDelete
  86. This came in so handy for the Ghostbuster's Birthday Party we just threw for our son. Thank you so much, I've linked your tutorial to my blog post.
    http://amomseverydaylife.blogspot.com/2013/03/ghostbusters-birthday-party.html

    ReplyDelete
  87. What a fun Mom you are! Thanks for this fun idea. I'm going to bring this to my After School kids for a fun outside project. I wonder if they could use a Sharpie to write their initials on the marshmallow for a distance contest.

    ReplyDelete
  88. I have linked to this post here: Frugal Road Trip with Kids – Fun Stuff http://www.morewithlessmom.com/index.php/2013/06/04/frugal-road-trip-with-kids-fun-stuff/

    ReplyDelete
  89. Thanks for the great idea! I ended up using a mandarin orange can (opened with a can opener that smooths the edges). It worked perfectly :)

    ReplyDelete
  90. We used leftover paper rolls instead of cups. Worked great! Also, popcorn doesn't work so well as they exploded :).

    I also think this would work great for adult entertainment and shots ;). We all still have fun with that too, from time to time?

    ReplyDelete
  91. OH MY!! How fun is this!!! I'm gonna make them right now & surprise my daughter & husband when they get home :)

    ReplyDelete
  92. These are so fun and inexpensive to make!
    I made these with a group of 1st graders, and they LOVED them!
    They shot at targets around the room:-)
    We tried making them with the plastic cups, but they kept caving in. Even when using 3 together.
    Instead, we used 2 styrofoam cups together, and they were perfect!
    The kids decorated with colorful duct tape (to hold the cups together and to keep the balloon secure.
    It was REALLY easy and they played for the longest time!

    ReplyDelete
  93. Hi, my daughter loved these so much that she used them as her 4-H Working Exhibit, there have been many people who have enjoyed having the opportunity to make them through her 4-H project. Thanks for posting!

    ReplyDelete
  94. We did this!! & it was soo much fun, I featured you on my blog not sure if you got my e-mail but I just wanted you to know how awesome you are!! YOU ROCK! :) Michelle
    http://mommyspinkielipgloss.blogspot.com/2013/07/marshmallow-shooters-rock.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Michelle! I am so glad it was such a hit.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...