We went to a Civil War reenactment when I was a boy. It was a huge "to do" in my state. Hundreds upon hundreds of people would gather every few years that they put it on to watch.
The first time we went, I was six years old or so, and I didn't understand what was happening. My mother told me I freaked out because I thought it was real. Well, that makes sense from the perspective of a small child. I wasn't really prepared for what I was going to see. I think my parents just thought it would be "cool".
As I got older, we went a few more times, and the things I loved the most were the cannons; these big, metal, powerful things that could hurl balls across the sky and to some damage.
I went home and tried to make my own cannons outside. They were mainly rudimentary and sling shot based, but I felt really proud of myself for being able to propel some objects.