The atlatl predates the bow and arrow as a hunting tool.
Historically, the atlatl falls between hand-thrown spears and the bow and arrow. The atlatl is essentially an extension of the spear thrower's arm, adding velocity and distance to the throw.
This video shows you easy it is to make and use this primitive weapon.
This looks like a great weekend project to complete with your kids and teach them about the history of weapons. Once your atlatl is complete, you can also have a friendly competition to see who is most accurate or can throw the dart the farthest.
The model shown in the video is intended for recreational use only, but in some areas, you can hunt with an atlatl. Modern hunters seeking the ultimate challenge use atlatls to pursue deer, bear, wild hogs, and small game.
To learn more about atlatls or purchase a hunting atlatl of your own visit thunderbirdatlatl.com.