The Greek Catapult

Posted by Caroline Mills

Computers and video games may be fun, but summer is the best time to get outdoors and active! Physical play has numerous benefits for kids and parents alike. The Art of Roughousing by Anthony T. DeBenedet, M.D. and Lawrence J. Cohen, Ph.D. includes tons of games, activities, and exercises for you and your child to try together.

The “Greek Catapult” is a particularly fun trick that launches your kid through the air onto his feet or a soft surface with the help of a spotter.


Ages: 5-8

Difficulty: Medium

Essential Skills: Spotting

Since the Greeks invented the catapult, we named this move in their honor. Lie on your back and bring your knees to your chest, tilting your feet at a 45-degree angle. Have your kid crouch upright on your feet, facing away from your head and leaning forward, with his feet under his body.

Now unbend and straighten your legs and, pushing your feet forward at roughly 30 to 45 degrees, catapult him forward into the air. Make sure you push your feet forward (rather than pushing them straight up) to prevent him from landing on you. He should land on his feet, a mattress, or a pile of soft pillows or couch cushions.

A spotter is helpful for guiding the landing.