Kids Craft: Make Your Own Marble Run - Red Ted Art's Blog : Red Ted Art's Blog

Kids Craft: Make Your Own Marble Run

| January 4, 2012 | 34 Comments

marble runhow to make a marble run I do like to practice as I preach and practice we did when we made our cardboard box marble run this week… Last week we had the Cardboard Box Craft round up and in there I had featured, this very straight forward marble run from Inhabitots V1. They made theirs out of a cereal box. We made ours from a couple of toy boxes that have been knocking around for a while.

We made a simple and super easy and super fast marble run. And then we got carried away and made a second “criss crossing” marble run. Fab.

First our book:

Meet EinsteinMeet Einstein, by Mariela Kleiner.

What an adorable book about Mr Einstein himself and science in general. Red Ted asks me all sorts of difficult questions and I try and answer them as simply but factually as possible. Today he asked why the marbles keep running down our run. I told him: Gravity. What is gravity? Gravity makes things fall down. Look, if I hold the marble and let go, it falls down. When it is on a slope it goes down the slope. Aha. Out comes Meet Einstein and let’s find out all about Science. Hooray. The books focusses on light and gravity and on how science is all around us. Helping us make connections between things. There is also a section for parents on Einstein, as well as a page of questions for discussion with your kids.

The book also reminds me of Science Sparks. I don’t know if you have come across Science Sparks yet, but it is a activity based resource website run by two fabulously sciency and passionate ladies. What I really love about Science Sparks, is how it brings science into all sorts of day to day situations, getting children to think  about and explore their environment – in a really easy and fun way. Meet Einstein perfectly complement their site and aims to achieve the same thing.

Our Craft

Right… now to make our marble run. Red Ted has been BEGGING me to make one for weeks and now, finally, with the school holidays and some cardboard boxes we made a super duper one!

Materials: one or two boxes (e.g. an old toy box or a cereal box), sticky tape, scissors and f course marbles

make your own marble run make your own marble run

1) We first made a simple one (left) and then a slight more difficult one that criss crosses (right). For both, we separated one side of the box and layed out any pieces.

how to make a marble run marble run design ideas

2) For the simple one, we cut 4 panels. As you will be placing these at an angle, they do actually fall SLIGHTLY short, but you can manage this by sellotaping it all together a little tighter. This will pull in the sides of the marble run slightly. For the criss crossing one, we were lucky enough that the box had flaps, which meant extra card. Enough to cut 8 panels. They are slightly narrow, but it works. We had our lovely crafty friend visiting and it was very handy to have her help stick.. I could then take photos!

marble run designs how to make a marble run (2)

3) Simple one (left): cut holes ofr your marbles to drop through at either end. Two facing one side and two the other.

For the criss cross one (right): you need  slot the two pieces of card together AND cut additional holes for the marbles to run through. Check out the photos to see the pattern. The key thing is NOT to cut half way through both panels, else the whole thing will fall part when you cut the marble hole. One panel has a slot 2/3s along the way and the second panel has a slot 1/3 along the way. This allows for the placement of the second hole. The photos show a square hole in the panel.. in fact we ended up making the hole a little bigger – more of a rectangle, which later allowed for slanting flatter.

makre your own

4) Simple – tape in place. Make it incline ever so slightly against the back of the box, so that the marbles are not tempted to jump out of the side

Criss Cross – again you will be slightly short of the width of the box, but just draw the sides in a little with tape. Secure with tape all around – including an extra but of tape at the cross section.

5) If desired, decorate your cardboard marble run. Play.

marble run marble run

Then stack your runs

diy marble run diy marble run

diy marble run make a marble run

6) And play and play with your cardboard marble run!

For more Kid’s Craft ideas, click here for a full list.

If you have been crafty with your kid’s be it at home, in the kitchen or outdoors, I would love for you to link up:

Would love to see any cardboard box how to’s or makes you have come up with? Or have you maybe made a marble run yourself?

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Category: Kids Craft, Recycling

Comments (34)

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  1. That looks great Maggy, thanks so much for the mention! :-)

    I am off to buy the book now too! x

  2. What an amazing way to connect this marble run project with the Einstein book to explain the science of gravity! The book does sound FUN.
    Sharing this on my blog FB page…!

  3. I love your marble run! \”Meet Einstein\” sounds like an adorable book.

  4. Ali says:

    Your marble run is seriously impressive!

  5. This is awesome!! My kids would totally get into this. Thanks for the idea!!

  6. Red Ted Art says:

    Thank you all for your lovely comments. We are certainly having lots of fun with it (Emma, you can play with it tomorrow – if we find the marbles again from under the sofa!)

  7. MiaB says:

    What an awesome activity… thanks for hosting!!


  8. Becky says:

    I\’m visiting from Weteach. I love this homemade marble run!!! We made one about a year ago with toilet paper and paper towel tubes and magnets (from Family Fun magazine), but this one looks much easier. We\’re going to have to try this! Thank you for sharing.

  9. so neat! we got our first marble run a few weeks ago & the girls LOVE it! I know we have to try our hand at making our own! :) You made it sound so simple & doable – just the encouragement I needed friend! I am going to start looking for boxes!

  10. i love this! Definitely one I am going to try! thanks for linking up to Fun Sparks. xx

  11. Genius – and you could start to talk about speed and acceleration! Always to ass the science element! Thanks linking to science sparks! Thanks for the mention as well! x

  12. Veronica says:

    We were just doing a fun activity today the this would have been awesome for. Check out what we did today. You could use it with your marble run.

  13. Red Ted Art says:

    Kerry oooh yes.. you are right, I could have talked about acceleration too! Will do when we play with it tomorrow!

  14. Keitha says:

    Love the marble run! We made one a few years ago after seeing it posted on Made By Joel. Great idea to make it out of sturdier boxes. Ours, made out of cereal boxes, was well-loved and fell apart pretty quickly.

    • Red Ted Art says:

      Yes, I think the Inhabitots had Joel Guest Post for them!! :-) We do need to reinforce ours every so often too, but so far so good!

  15. Natalie says:

    What a terrific post – great book, project and a website recommendation! I\’ll make sure to check the book and the website out!

  16. Joomin says:

    Please delete No38. thumbnail….
    It has a wrong link..

    That was my mistake.. Sorry…

    No 39. is real!! ^__^

    Thank you..

    I like this site.. it\’s so fun!!!

  17. Julie says:

    What a clever idea!

  18. Rachel says:

    So fun! My boys would love this!

  19. simply heidi says:

    What fun! I think even my big girl would like this book and making a marble run. I\’m off to reserve it at the library. Thanks!

  20. Isil says:

    I love your marble run,great fun! The book looks very interesting,added to wish list.Thanks for linking up to Book Sharing Monday.x

  21. Judy says:

    Holy cow, I had been thinking way too complicated when we made our marble run…now I definitely want to try making this with my boys. SO much easier!

  22. Still think this marble run is brilliant! Thanks for sharing with Learning Laboratory at Mama Smiles =)

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