Ramp up the creativity with Marble Mania! This fabulous, out-of-the-box, brain-boosting, activity is perfect for filling a lazy afternoon out of the summer sun and kids who enjoy building with Legos and blocks will love creating their own marble runs. This unique twist on traditional building reaps the same benefits as construction play – developing fine motor skills, introducing early math, science, engineering, and architectural principals and vocabulary, encouraging team work, and much more.
So let’s get rolling! Follow the step-by-step instructions to create your very own marble run. Don’t forget to share photos and videos on our Facebook page and if you enjoyed this activity, be sure to check out the rest of our DIY Creativity Camp activities on the EI blog. And for our kid Makers who are reading this, make sure to ask a parent to help you with these projects!
- 10 Sheets of construction paper
- Duct tape or heavy-duty masking tape
- A cardboard box measuring approximately 12” x 12” x 9” (the box can be larger but then you’ll need to make more tracks)
- Fold a single sheet of construction paper in half, lengthwise.
- Fold folded construction paper lengthwise again.
- Staple the folded edge four times, evenly spacing the staples.
- Fold one side upwards, to make a wall.
- Fold the other side so that the paper forms a “U” shape.
- Follow steps 1-5 to make 5-8 additional marble runs.
- Arrange your tracks around a medium sized box (the one pictured below is 12” tall, not including the top panels). Begin by taping the first track at a 45 degree angle, as shown below.
- Make a 90 turn with two tracks by wrapping them around the box. Just cut a small notch in the tracks and put two tracks together using the notches, as shown below:
Tape the outside of the angle so the wall edge is firm (this will keep the marble from rolling out when it goes around the turn). Test your turns to see if the marble rolls down or falls out. See video of the first section being tested with a marble.
- Continue attaching the runs to the box, experimenting with different angles. You’ll notice that the steeper the angle, the faster the marble goes, but don’t make your tracks too steep or the marble might jump the track.
Launch your marbles and watch them fly!
Brain Boosting Benefits:
- Encourages imagination and creativity
- Enhances fine motor skills
- Introduces simple engineering