Friday, August 1, 2014

Ramps: Marble Roller Coaster

Jelly Bean and Jumping Bean had their first trip to a water park, and they both realized that the waterslides were like the ramps that we have been playing with.  Then, we started talking about how the roller coaster at the carnival we went to while visiting Grandma and Papa was also made of ramps.  A few weeks ago, I saw a ramp activity from Frugal Fun For Boys and so our marble roller coaster activity began!

Jelly Bean and Jumping Bean began constructing their roller coaster by taping the ends of cut off paper plates together.  They worked very well together!

Next, they used paper towel roll, toilet rolls, and blocks to support the ramp.

Our first attempt at rolling the marble down the roller coaster was not a success.  The marble rolled right off the side at the first turn.

After talking about the slides at the park, waterslides at the waterpark, and roller coasters, the girls came to the conclusion that they all have sides.  We tested the roller coaster again to see where the marble went off and put sides on.  And success!  The marble ran down the roller coaster without falling of the side.

Jelly Bean and Jumping Bean did quite a bit of work on our roller coaster, but this activity definitely required a lot of my help.  They loved how we were all thinking together to come up with solutions to our problems.  I loved it too!  I could really see their thought process and how they were able to bring in prior knowledge to help construct our roller coaster! 


  • paper plates
  • toilet rolls, paper towel rolls, blocks
  • tape
  • scissors


  1. Cut the bottom off of a paper plate (use the decorative plates that have ridges on the bottom).  I got mine from The Dollar Tree.
  2. Make one cut in each circle to open the circle.
  3. Tape one end of a cut circle with one end of another cut circle creating a twisty ramp.  Connect as many as you would like depending how larger your roller coaster is.
  4. Tape the rolls to the bottom of the ramp at different leaves creating a roller coaster.
  5. Cut smaller pieces from the cut circles and tape them around the curves of the roller coaster.
  6. Place a marble at the top and let it roll down to the bottom.


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