Spark of the Day: Pom - Pom Shooter

Pom-Pom Shooter by Fran W.
Here's a great way to turn simple items into a fun activity!


Items Needed:

Toilet paper tube, 12" balloon, packing or duct tape, scissor, pom-poms, a large container and recycled plastic water bottles or yogurt containers 
Optional items:  A measuring tape, paper, and pencil

What to do:
  • Cut off the top of a balloon, new or recycled
  • Put one end of the tube into the balloon - leave a few inches at the bottom for shooting.
  • Tape the balloon into place.  
  • Put a pom-pom into the open end of the tube and shoot it out by pulling back on the balloon.

The object of the activity is to try and get the pom-poms into a container or shoot them across the room and measure how far they go. My family has a great time with this activity!

Safety rules

Before we begin playing, we talk about the dangers of shooting people and pets and prohibit the shooting of sharp and/or hard objects; the shooter is meant to be a fun toy not a weapon.

Here are some of the things we like to do...
  • Shoot pom-poms across the room, into containers, and at various targets. My youngest child (age 2.5 at the time), quickly figured out how to use the shooter and played right along with us!
  • Using 5 pom-poms each, we shoot them into a large container one at a time, and keep track of each one that makes it in with tally marks (llll). After 3 tries for each player, we count our tally marks by 1's, 5's or some other agreed upon number.
  • Shoot light objects out of the device such as: ping-pong balls, aluminum foil balls, paper balls, etc.
  • Use a tape measure to see how far some of the items go and write down the results of each shot.
  • Stack recycled yogurt containers or water bottles and knocked them down with ping-pong balls.
  • Shoot more than one pom-pom at a time to see what happens.
  • Ask questions, predict what may happen, experiment, observe, compare results, find answers and track results.
Record Keeping & Benefits
  • If you need to keep track of what you do for educational purposes, you can take a picture of the device and write a caption under it or print out this page and make a list of the activities you did on the back of the page along with the educational value of each activity.
  • It may be fun to keep track of the distance of each shot on graph paper.
  • You can also date your score page and add it to a math and science folder.

Natural Benefits: This is a science-based experiment, physics in nature. If players ask, "what if" questions, try to predict what may happen, experiment, observe, compare results, find and track results, they are working on the scientific method.
When score keeping is added, it turns into a fun-based math activity.
This is also a fun way to repurpose!


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4 comments:

  1. This is too cool!!! I would have never thought about making one of these! Thanks for linking it up at the Geeky Educational Link Up!

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    1. Thank you, Jess! I thought these were so much fun to play with and everyone could use them! I used this activity for a physics program and the kids enjoyed them...I hope your family enjoys them too. Thanks for providing the Geeky Educational Link Up!

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  2. Thanks for stopping in at The Geeky Educational Link Up. This looks like a ton of fun. I am sure my kids would enjoy it.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Meagan! I hope your kids enjoy the activity!

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