Ramp It Up

Marbles Rings

Play to learn with ramp building.  Kids build, test, and experiment with what rolls. 

What You Need:  

  • Blocks 
  • Legos    
  • Cardboard tubes 
  • Box tops 
  • Cardboard planks 
  • Toy cars & trucks   

What You Do:  

Collect blocks, cardboard tubes, cardboard box tops with one end removed, planks of wood, anything that can be used to make and elevate ramps.   

  1. Use blocks, boxes or Legos to build towers. 
  2. Create ramps using cardboard tubes, box tops (cup off one end), cardboard planks (strips of cardboard), or longer blocks. 
  3. Let your cars roll down your ramps.   
  4. Experiment with how various heights and angles change distance and speed. 

Words to Use:  

  • Roll: Move along a surface by turning over and over 
  • Ramp: A slope that has been built to connect two places at different levels 
  • Elevate: To lift something to a higher position 
  • Speed: Rate at which something moves or travels 
  • Motion:  Process of moving 
  • Force of motion: The push and pull of something 

What to Talk About:  

  • Use descriptive language when observing what kids are building and think out loud as you solve problems together.  “You’ve built a tall ramp and a short ramp.”  “Which one do you think will make the car go faster?  Why? Let’s test it and find out!” 
  • Get kids thinking with open-ended questions and statements.  “How do you think we can make the car travel further?”  “I wonder how we could stop the car.” 
  • Talk about how many ramps or blocks kids are using.  “How many blocks did you use to make this tall ramp? How many will we have if you add (or take away) a block?” 
  • Notice speed differences in heavier and lighter cars.  Make hypotheses. Test and find out. 

Change It Up:   

Age It Down:   

  • Use masking tape to make streets or racetracks for younger pretend play. 
  • Make ramps for bouncy balls, tennis balls, golf balls, etc. 
  • Try making a car or ball obstacle course. 

Age It Up:  

  • Weigh the cars before letting them roll and predict which will be faster. 
  • Try different objects.  Do they roll, slide, or stop?  

Learning Connections:   

  • Critical Thinking  
  • Imagination  
  • Innovation   
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)  
  • Visual-Spatial Thinking   

 

Curriculum Connections:
NC Standard Course of Study  

  • Math:  K.MD.1, K.P.1.2, K.P.2.1, NC.1.MD.2, NC.2.MD.1, NC.2.MD.3, NC.3.MD.2, NC.4.MD.1 
  • Science: 1.P.1.3, EX.1.P.1 NC.2.MD.1, 3.P.1, 5.P.1.1, 5.P.1.2, 5.P.1.4 
  • English Language Arts: SL.K.1, SL.1.1, SL.2.1 

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