In the Bible, the young David used a sling to stun the mighty Goliath before killing him with his own sword.
The story of David and Goliath is one of the best-known tales from the Bible. In the story, David, a young Israelite shepherd, defeats a giant Philistine warrior named Goliath, armed only with a sling. Making your own is relatively simple, although becoming good at slinging requires lots of practice.
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Making a Simple Sling
Making a simple sling is an easy process. To create the pouch, cut a paper template in the shape of a rectangle with trimmed-off corners. The pouch should be about 5 inches wide by 2 1/2 inches tall. Trace the template on a piece of leather, cut it out, and punch holes in the sides. Tie a length of cord through each hole and make a loop at the end of one cord.
Using the Sling
Using a sling is simultaneously simple and complicated. To sling a projectile, the slinger slides the loop at one end of one cord, called the "retention cord," over a finger on his dominant hand, while holding the end of the other, called the "release cord," between his thumb and forefinger. With a small projectile inside the sling, he whirls the sling in an overhand arc, stepping forward and releasing the cord at the top of the rotation.
Slings for Children
Historically, slings were used to hurl projectiles such as stones or bullets made of clay or lead. Obviously, these are highly dangerous and not suitable crafts for children. However, safer slings can be made using paper pouches and lighter projectiles such as foam balls. Light projectiles won't create the same arc as a proper sling, but they can still be a fun and creative way to help children learn about the story of David and Goliath.
Sling Craft Safety
David and Goliath sling crafts can be a lot of fun, but there are a number of safety issues. The most obvious is that real stones used in slings can cause serious injury. They should never be launched where they might hit a person or breakable object. In addition, the heavy craft knives used to cut leather must always be handled with caution. Even soft projectiles can break fragile objects, so children should always do David and Goliath crafts under adult supervision.