Playful Parenting: Bringing Play to Every Day

Playful Parenting: Bringing Play to Every Day

DIY Marble Run

Let kids experiment and develop critical thinking skills by building a marble racetrack. Using common items around the house, kids will work collaboratively to build their own unique track and problem solve as they work to get the marbles to the finish line.

What You’ll Need

  • Carboard boxes
  • Empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls
  • Other recyclables: Egg cartons, empty milk containers, paper bags, etc.
  • Painter’s tape
  • Marbles
  • Scissors
  • Unbreakable cup, bowl or basket to catch the marbles

What You’ll Do

  • Gather materials.
    Find a large, clear space on a wall or door.
  • Make a plan of how the marble will get from the beginning to the end (older kids may want to draw their plan out first).
  • Start building the marble run by taping the cardboard and recyclables on the wall, making different paths for the marbles to follow.
  • Test, learn and make adjustments along the way.
  • Drop the marble onto the top of the racetrack and see if it can make it into the cup, bowl or basket at the end without falling onto the floor. Didn’t work the way they wanted it to? Adjust and try again! There are no right or wrong ways to create your marble run.

Safety Tip! Because the marbles could pose a choking hazard for younger children, consider using alternatives like ping pong balls or pom poms for those under four. Make sure all kids keep marbles out of their mouths, ears and noses!

What Kids Learn

How to Support the Play

  • Remember: There is often more than one “right way” of doing things.
  • When a child asks for help, guide without taking over. Nudge them along with suggestions framed as questions. “What would happen if…?”
  • View mistakes and bumps in the road for what they really are – opportunities to learn.




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