How to make a marshmallow shooter

Marshmallows and kids go together. Marshmallows and kids and homemade shooters for flinging the marshmallows soaring off into the stratosphere go together even better.

Here's how to make your very own marshmallow shooter to share — or not share — with the kids:

marshmallow shooter 

What you need:

• Disposable party cup, one per shooter, with the bottom third carefully cut off by an adult

• Balloons, one per shooter plus a few spares, just in case

• Mini marshmallows (Regular size might work, too, but I can't vouch for that)

marshmallow shooter supplies

What you do:

Carefully cut off about 1/8-inch from the rounded end of a balloon. Stretch that cut end of the balloon over the rim off the party cup (not the cut-off end), covering the entire opening of the cup and stretching to allow about 1/2-inch of the balloon to extend up the side of the cup, all the way around.

Roll up the cut edge of the balloon ever so slightly all the way around the cup, to ensure the lip of the cup will grab any edges that threaten to slip off, keeping the balloon secure in place. Then tie the opening of the balloon just as you typically would with an inflated balloon.

Your cup/shooter should look like this:

marshmallow shooters

From there, the fun begins:

First, load the shooter with one marshmallow.

marshmallow shooter

Ensure the marshmallow is centered over the tie...

marshmallow shooter

Then pull back the tied end slightly for the marshmallow to fall into the indention.

marshmallow shooter

Aim your shooter in the direction you want the marshmallow to fly.

aiming marshmallow shooter

Then pull back even farther on the balloon, making sure your hands are closer to the rim than to the cut edge of the cup (because it's sturdier on the rim end and won't crush the cup). Also be sure to r e a l l y concentrate...

marshmallow shooter aim

Then let go and watch her fly!

shooting marshmallow shooter

Or not fly... at least not at first.

With a little practice, aiming and shooting the marshmallow long distances comes easily. Bubby and I were eventually skilled enough at it to compete with one another to see who could shoot the marshmallow all the way across the yard and over the fence (into the wash, not the neighbor's yard).

We tried shooting Cheerios and tiny craft pom-poms, too. We did the pom-poms indoors so as to not litter. The pom-poms didn't work so well. The Cheerios, though, were a smashing success — especially when we tried them indoors and they burst into pieces upon hitting the vaulted ceiling. (Don't tell Megan.)

Roxy, the family dog, had a great time gobbling up all the marshmallows and Cheerios, both inside and out. And call me a bad grandma if you must, but Mac nabbed a fair share of the misfires, as well, picking them up and popping them into his mouth as quickly as we could fire them off. Hey, it kept him busy while his big brother — and his grandma — got the hang of shooting the marshmallows and more over the fence and out of the park.

marshmallow shooter trio

Today's question:

When did you last blow up a balloon? Or eat a marshmallow?