Sling Weapon Activity

December 16, 2016
Join the conversation on:


  • String
  • Material – 2’’ x 8’’ per student
  • Scissors
  • Hole-punches
  • Something safe to throw – small hacky sack-type balls


  • Familiarize yourself with the sling in Medieval warfare by reading background information
  • Make an example if you don’t already have one
  • Practice using the sling
  • Cut a 2’’ x 8’’ piece of fabric for each student
  • Cut string for each student – 3 feet per student

Procedure for Making the Sling:

  1. Show the example sling to the class. Safely demonstrate how it works.
  2. Distribute 3 foot of string to each student. Instruct students to cut the string into two pieces, with one being 2 to 3 inches longer than the other.
  3. Distribute a piece of fabric to each student and show them on your example where they will use a hole-punch to make a hole on each side.
  4. Pass out the hole-punches and allow students time to punch the holes. Tell them that this is where the string will be tied to the pouch.
  5. Instruct the students to tie one piece of string to each side of the pouch by threading it through the holes on the sides of the fabric and tying a knot.
  6. Now, tell students to tie a loop at the end of the longer cord and a knot at the end of the shorter cord.

How to Use the Sling

  1. Demonstrate how to hold the weapon by placing the loop on your middle finger and then pinching the knot between your thumb and the side of your pointer finger at the first joint from the knuckle. Then, place the soft projectile into the pouch.
  2. There are many ways to use a sling. One of the simplest is called the Apache Throw. Face 60 degrees away from your target, your arm extended behind your back, with your weight on your back foot. Swing forward, bringing your arm forward like a line drive. As you do this, shift your weight to your front foot and swing the rest of your body forward. Your arm guides the throw, but it is your body that propels the stone to lethal velocity. To release the stone, simply let go of the release cord.

Authored By Kat Havens

As a native Houstonian Kathleen has watched HMNS change and grow over the decades. Her life-long love of cultures and all things rocks and minerals brought her back to HMNS after several years away. Well versed in almost all things museum as an employee and volunteer her goal is to share her love of learning with anyone who will stop long enough to listen (or read).

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