Snowball Catapult Alphabet Activity

This snowball catapult alphabet activity is a super easy winter STEM activity! My preschooler and my toddler really enjoyed experimenting with the catapult.

Snowball Catapult Alphabet Activity. A winter STEM activity preschoolers and toddlers will love! Learn the alphabet while experimenting with a catapult.

I was surprised to find that both of my children were able to enjoy various aspects of this activity. Although it was so much fun for them, it was also a great learning experience. I love that!

Supplies Needed:

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Make a Simple Catapult

It may seem intimidating at first, but you can make one in a couple of minutes.

  1. First, stack 5 of the craft sticks and rubber band them at each end.
  2. Then wrap one rubber band around the very end of the other two craft sticks.
  3. Slide the stack of 5 craft sticks between the other two sticks. Then wrap a rubber band around the center of all of them.
  4. Glue the milk jug cap on to the craft stick that is facing up.

Set up the Winter Alphabet Activity

  1. Cut two square pieces of paper and write a letter on each one. Tape them to the bottom or side of your bowls. I decided to use the letter d and the letter b for this activity because we are still working on b/d reversal.
  2. Place your catapult and snowballs nearby.

Snowball Catapult Alphabet Activity

Learn letters while enjoying this winter STEM activity.

I began by encouraging my son to practice using the catapult first. I asked questions to help him gather information about how to successfully use the catapult for this activity. Here are some of the questions I asked:

  • What do you think will happen if you press down hard on the catapult?
  • What happens if you don’t press very hard?
  • What happens if you move the catapult backward?
  • What happens if you move the catapult forward?
  • What do you think will happen if you press down on the catapult and very quickly let go?
  • What happens if you put more than one cotton ball on the catapult?
A fun winter alphabet activity for toddlers and preschoolers. Teach letters while learning about catapults.

After he experimented with throwing the cotton balls for a while, we started the alphabet activity. At first, I would call out a letter and he would try to get a snowball to land in the corresponding bowl. Eventually, this changed to him trying to see how many of the 8 or so snowballs he could get in the bowl.

For some added difficulty, I started calling out words that either started with a d or a b. For example, I would call out “baby” and he would decide which letter that starts with. Then he would catapult a snow ball into the corresponding bowl.

Toddler STEM activity for winter. A fun snowball catapult activity that toddlers will love!

My two-year old (26 months) was even able to use the catapult. She got a real kick out of catapulting the snowballs!

This is definitely I will be pulling out this winter when we are stuck indoors more often. I like that we can work on different letters or letter sounds each time. I actually think I may try two different sight words next time!

Head over to my Alphabet Activities page for even more fun, hands-on letter learning ideas!

MORE Winter STEM Ideas from the Early Childhood Education Team:

Gingerbread House Construction Ideas by The Educators’ Spin On IT

Winter STEM Activity – Build a Snowflake by Fun-A-Day

Winter Inspired Tinker Tray by Still Playing School

Make a Peppermint Stick Straw (and Sip Fresh Orange Juice!)by Capri + 3

Winter STEM for Preschool:  Evergreen Tree Construction Challenge by The Preschool Toolbox Blog