>Booby Traps

>As evidenced by the huge success of the “Home Alone” franchise, kids love booby traps. After watching that movie my kid spent days threading string through the house, hiding, and setting traps of his own design. Although I don’t suggest getting in the way of that exploration, after a while, it is time to show a kid how to catch food, or crooks, if they need to.
The trap, or treadle snare as it is more rightly called, that we are going to make is modified from its most practical application (left) for tamer indoor fun. The way we will build this snare won’t kill your cat, but will be a blast for the kids and demonstrate the principles involved. That being said, to avoid any random accident, and to teach good skills, always watch the traps while playing with them, and disarm them when not monitoring them personally.

You will need, 4-8 rubber bands, string, pencil (unsharpened) or dowel, Ottoman or stool, and a couple of narrow (1/4″) sticks ; Your particular arrangement will determine the necessary lengths. Light weight material is better for the cross member, as the tension the rubber bands provide to the string and noose need to hold its weight (lest it slip and release the trap).

1. With the rubber bands make a chain.
2. Tie a length of string to each end of the chain. The rubber bands will provide the spring tension that the sapling does in the illustration above.
3. Tie one end to an anchor point, and thread it under the chair or ottoman.
4. on the opposite end make a 5″ diameter noose and then tie the pencil, in the middle about 8″ back toward the rubber band chain.
5. Now set up the trap as you see below, and above.
6.Two cross members the top usually being part of the stool or ottoman, and at least two treadles laid on top of the bottom cross member at one end and the ground at the other. The string should be pulled tight, the noose laid open on top of the treadles, and the trigger set; by putting the pencil in position, perpendicular to the cross members.
Now you can throw a small stuffed animal on top and watch what happens. The trapped item will vanish it gets snatched so fast. If things aren’t quite right the trap may need adjusting; make sure the noose is large enough, tension tight enough on string, and that the object you are trapping has something about it that makes it easy for the snare to grab. The item in our video is a dog toy with lots of little arms.http://www.youtube.com/get_player

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