Operation Water Siege – Build a Water Balloon Launcher

If you’ve found this during summer, launching water balloons great distances is an awesome way to spend the day, even better when your kids have built their water balloon launcher themselves.

As with all of our missions a printable mission document is available for list subscribers by signing up below. Thanks to all of our readers you are much appreciated!

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Operation Water Seige – Build a Water Balloon Launcher

Your mission is to build a device suitable for launching water balloons over long distances. Steps will be given to build your own model but feel free to improvise and implement your own designs.

Parents Only
The real challenge for this mission parents is finding surgical tubing for the launcher. As we’ve stated in the equipment section, online might be the easiest but sporting good stores with a good fishing department are also good sources for tubing. We personally used 3/8in Polespear Band / Sling Latex Rubber Tubing (#606) 20 FEET from Amazon and it worked awesome.

4 feet of Surgical tubing or Exercise Bands or Polespear rubber tubing, Duct Tape (Gorilla Tape Strongly Recommended), Towel or Tarp or other heavy fabric approximately 15”x15”, 5/8” dowel or scrap of wood approximately 18” long, saw, scissors, water balloons. Our resources page has a good option for a serious launcher.

water balloon launcher plansA water balloon launcher is a great project especially for the summer. It’s not very complicated and you can use some items found around the house to make it. The trickier equipment is the surgical tubing or Polespear tubing. You can find surgical tubing in the fishing section of many mega stores like WalMart or Fred Meyer. Also you could use exercise bands found in many sporting goods stores as well. The best option for longer distance is Polespear rubber tubing which is very difficult to find locally but is incredibly durable and springy. We ordered ours from Amazon, link above in the Equipment section.

    1. Layout the Towel
      Using our towel cutout plan use a pen or marker to make your cutting lines. These are just suggested dimensions but are big enough to hold a standard water balloon.

cut out towel for catapult

  1. Cut out the Towel
    Cut the four corners out with your scissors. You can also cut down the towel to size if necessary.
  2. Put your Handles in Place
    Place the dowels on the two sides of your tabs and tape into place with your duct tape. Just know for this project you can’t use too much duct tape. Your water balloon launcher will be much stronger if you use a generous amount of tape. At this point just be sure not to tape up the other tabs, those will be used to run your tubing through in step 4.
  3. tape handles in placeInstall Tubing
    Now you follow a similar process locking your tubing into place on your launcher but being careful not to actually tape the tubing to your launching pouch. The tubing should be able to move freely. Fold over the towel tab sandwiching the tubing into place and tape generously. You’ll notice in our picture that we’ve left the center untaped as it provides a softer area to cradle your water balloons.
  4. Tie your Tubing Together
    Using a square knot tie the ends of your tubing together. You probably don’t need the overhand knots on each end shown, but you do want to keep a close eye on this knot as you are launching. Getting snapped in the face by your tubing hurts.
  5. Give your water balloon catapult a try!
    image_3You can use the dowels or handles to hold or you can also hold on the tubing side that’s up to you. You’ll need two buddies to man each side of the catapult, or a buddy and a tree. When you pull back it’s best to pull down and back keeping the balloon in place, and let er rip! Just be careful of what you are aiming at, it can seriously hurt humans or pets, so aim near them, not right at them, give them a good splash.

lock your water balloon tubing into place
Tape is the key here, a good quality duct tape will make this work really well. Again we always recommend Gorilla Tape as it’s about the strongest stuff ever.