Nicole Davies

Hello! My name is Nicole and I am a Marine spouse and mother of three daughters, ages 16, 10, and 7. I have been a stay-at-home mom most of their lives while also pursuing my Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. In the past I have worked as a social worker for child welfare in the state of Pennsylvania. I have also taught preschool for ages 2.5 - 4. During my master’s program I interned as a therapist at an inpatient psychiatric hospital working with adults, teens, and kids. My ultimate goal is to become an independently licensed therapist. Our family has lived in Onslow County for 10 of the last 15 years, which has given my children a stability that is rare among military families. While NC has been my home for several years now, I am still a Yankee at heart! I will always choose a Philly cheesesteak over a pulled-pork sandwich. In addition to taking care of my family and my educational pursuits, I enjoy traveling to destinations near and far; a novel in which I can get lost; and chatting with friends over a good cup of coffee.

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Marshmallow Shoot-Out

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m fairly easily amused and usually up for a little mischief.  I think I have a gift for wasting time on silly stuff, and fortunately, so does the rest of my family.  A few years back at Christmas, my brother-in-law introduced us to the joys of shooting marshmallows at each other.  He got some thin PVC pipes and we jammed mini-marshmallows in them and shot each other blow-dart style.  It wasn’t exactly the traditional way to spend family time at Christmas, but it sure was fun and left my girls wanting more.

Fast forward to this summer and my girls were ready for some more marshmallow warfare with the family.  I figured there had to be some better, more advanced type of marshmallow gun, so I sat down at the computer and did a Google search.  And I found this plan for an awesome marshmallow gun:

http://www.mysawdust.com/Scouting/documents/Marshmallow_Shooter_Plans.pdf

Now, I don’t know who took the time to make this diagram and write such a complete list of materials, but hats off, buddy.  You did a good job, whoever you are!  This gun is easy to make and really shoots the marshmallows well.  We didn’t glue the parts of the gun together and I was glad I made that call because the guns are easy to take apart and clean if you have a “misfire.”  I would also recommend that if you plan to make many of these you might want to invest in one of these tools:

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1vZ1xhl/R-100373223/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

That pvc cutting tool will save hours of time cutting the pipes for your marshmallow guns.  And if you’re a goon like me, it will amaze you to the point you’ll want to cut PVC pipe for hours!  Be careful to supervise your teens when they’re cutting, though, because one teen missing a finger can wreck all the fun of this project!

Once you’ve got the basic guns made, you can either go straight to the backyard to shoot each other or personalize them with some spray paint (awesome stuff made just for painting plastic these days!), duct tape, or whatever.  When it’s time to shoot the guns, just put the marshmallows (one or a few at a time) into that piece on the top (3” piece), then put your mouth on it and give it a good blow.  You’ll be surprised how far those marshmallows will fly once you get the hang of it!

Now, for those of you who think this is a waste of time and good marshmallows (in my opinion, though, marshmallows are much better for throwing than eating!), here’s the thing…you can actually learn some physics from this little activity.  Encourage your kids to guess what difference a different length of barrel will make on the length of the flight of the marshmallows.  Then let them experiment with different lengths and test their hypothesis.  Let them do a little creative work and try some different designs, too.

I’d love to hear your ideas for good, cheap summer fun.

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2 Comments on “Marshmallow Shoot-Out”

  • Tawana Humphrey Tawana HumphreyTawana Humphrey July 13th, 2010 9:33 am

    Ah the marshmallow guns, they bring back so many memories. My kids got these last year at the Farmer’s Day celebration here in Richlands. My mistake was letting them play with it in the house. For about 3 weeks I found little, hard, balled up old marshmallows in places I didn’t know marshmallows could hide!

  • Karen July 13th, 2010 4:44 pm

    That’s funny, Tawana! I found a squashed marshmallow in the living room the other day. Of course, all the teens in the house swore there was no shooting in the house. Sure, I believe that!

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