Marble Track

Marble Track

Location: indoor or outdoor

Materials: empty paper towel or toilet paper tubes, tape, marbles, a bucket

Depending on the ages of the kids you may need to offer more support in setting this up. For younger children you can start by setting it up yourself and showing them how to use it. As they grow, you can have them help you set this up.

Use tape to attach the cardboard tubes to a vertical surface (ex:the wall or the side of a shelf) so that they connect. Once the pieces are attached creating a continuous track, drop a marble in the top and watch it move through the track and drop out the bottom.

Your kids will love to do this over and over and over again.

Possible Extensions:

  • Create two identical tracks side by side and "race" your marbles.
  • Try using different things like pom poms or toy cars. Is one faster than another? Why?
  • Use a stopwatch to time how long it takes different items to get through the tubes.
  • Create different entry points that feed into one tube
  • Cut some of the tubs in half so you can see the marbles run through them
  • Before building the marble run on the wall invite your children to draw a plan for it
  • If your kids are designing the track themselves you will need to offer support in why their track might or might not work. By talking with them along the way you can model problem solving

What We're Learning

  • problem solving
  • scientific thinking (ie: trial and error, cause and effect)
  • hand-eye coordination
  • pre-writing skills (ie: hand division)
  • collaboration and team work
  • turn taking skills