Design, build, and test a ramp using cardboard and other household materials. Create a pathway for round objects to roll down the cardboard ramp. Incorporate the floor, stairs, countertops, or furniture into the ramp design. This activity helps children develop flexible thinking skills.
- Cardboard tubes and pieces of cardboard
- Masking tape
- Scissors for cutting cardboard
- Floor, stairs, counter top, furniture or other household items that will support the design
- Objects to test on the ramps and pathways such as buttons, round beads, tennis balls, and ping-pong balls
- Find a surface to build a cardboard ramp or pathway. Example: counter top, stairs, floor, etc. Select an item to test on the pathway.
- Sketch out a design plan or just jump right into building the cardboard pathway. Consider these design challenges:
- Create a pathway that does not touch the floor.
- Design a pathway using only tubes.
- Create a pathway that curves.
- Find a way to move an object through a path from one side of the room to the other.
- Use tubes, cardboard, different surfaces and other materials to make pathways for the selected object to move through. Feel free to cut or bend cardboard pieces to change the pathway.
- Test out how different objects move through the pathway, either at the end or as you build.
Try these add-on activities:
- Work with a partner and try to link your pathways together.
- Create another pathway alongside the original one and roll objects simultaneously. Which object finished first? Why do you think it finished first?
- Experiment with what happens when changing the angles of the pieces in the pathway.
- Make a video of an object rolling through your pathway and set it to music.