Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Water Ramp

We have been playing with ramps and marbles a lot lately, and I decided to put a little spin on our ramp play.  Jelly Bean and Jumping Bean will discover how water travels down a ramp when "speed bumps" are staggered down the ramp.

The fun starts with rummaging through Papa's workshop.  We are in search of wood pieces to nail onto our ramp.

Jelly Bean and Jumping Bean place their pieces on the board according to how they thought the speed bumps should be placed.

We tested the water ramps with how they placed their speed ramps, but the water just splashed over the ramps.

The most interesting part of this experiment for me was watching the girls place the speed bumps according to how I started the pattern.  It was a great spatial reasoning activity!  At times, the girls got a little frustrated, but I loved watching them work together and figure it out!

Now, it's time to play with our water ramp!  We colored the water so it would be easier to see as it flowed down the ramp along the speed bumps.  Some water seeped out from under the speed bumps, but a little more caulk next time will fix that.

And of course, the girls wanted to test more objects on the speed bumps.  This created an afternoon of fun!

This was a great activity to explore what happens when add a mini-ramp or "speed-bump" to our ramp.  It was fun to see how the speed-bumps both redirected the water or ball flow and made it take longer to get to the ground.   


  • wooden board
  • wood sticks or dowels
  • nail gun or wood glue
  • caulk
  • colored water
  • watering can or cup

  1. Stagger wooden sticks or dowels down a wood board so they overlap about two inches in a zigzag pattern.
  2. Secure with a nail gun or wood glue (allow glue to dry before using).
  3. Caulk wooden sticks to make they leak proof.
  4. Pour colored water over the top stick and watch it flow down following the speed bumps.

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