Marble runs are a great way to develop problem-solving skills (engineering) while still incorporating play. Play isn’t just for young kids, older kids need play too!
What is a marble run?
A marble run is a path or track designed to move a marble from one location to another. While you can purchase ready-made marble runs, you also can design your own using simple materials found around the house.
How to make a marble run with kids?
When introducing a challenge, we use our Mind-Body-Heart framework to help give kids a process for how to solve problems. Once kids understand the problem-solving process they understand that testing, improving their solution is part of the process and is not a failure.
Innovation Challenge: Can you design and build your own marble run?
Materials: Recycled cardboard tubes, small boxes, egg cartons, painter’s tape, marbles, empty wall, door or large cardboard box.
Mind: To get started first brainstorm ideas on how to use cardboard tubes and other recyclable materials to create a run or track for the marble to travel.
Body: Build your marble run. Secure your tubes and materials to a wall or cardboard with tape. Tip: Use painter’s tape if attaching to a painted wall.
Place a small box at the end of your run to collect your marble. Now it’s time to test your run. Does your marble make it all the way through?
How can you improve your design?
Experiment with what happens if you use a different type of ball like a bouncy ball or pom-poms?
Heart: Share your marble run! Show how your marble run works to a family member or friend. Or ask for parent permission to record a video of your marble run.
Adults: We would love to see your marble run designs. Tag us over on Instagram @innovationkidslab