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)
* 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!
**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!