Sunday, May 22, 2011

Toilet Paper Tube Marble Run

There is one thing I love about blogging: the community of other like-minded teachers to share ideas with. Two weeks ago, I read about what Tinkerlab did to create a marble run out of toilet paper tubes

Inspired, I found our stash of cardboard tubes and started cutting them up. I cut one inch squares from the top to catch falling marbles. I also cut a 1/2 inch wide strip along the length of some tubes. The marble run was set up in the block center, of course...

We're re-painting our class this week, so this was just a sample run. Next time, I will have the children paint and decorate the tubes first, and then set up the run themselves! This one took me about twenty minutes to cut and set up, and it stayed up for about 4 days.
They experimented by testing various points of entry along the run. There is a long, shallow plastic bin at the bottom to catch most of the marbles. Sometimes, if the tape became loose on a toilet paper roll, a marble would hit the edge of a tube and fly! 
It was low enough so that even the most petite child could reach with very little difficulty.
Look at the cooperation going on in this photo!
Emily stands back and plans her next point of entry.
In this one I added an arrow so you can see the ball rolling through the marble run.
Leave it to Robert and Cordy to find a new use for the marble catching bucket!  

Robert had the idea of adding pon poms to the marbles.
During this little episode, they experience the effects of gravity and motion, varying weights, inclines and speed!

"Look, Ms. Gina! This one is going the fastest!"
Oh, the giggles!
All in all, it was a successful activity! Thanks, Tinkerlab!

Happy playing!


  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.Joyce
    paper tubes

  2. Aww...that made my day! I appreciate your kind words. Happy playing!

  3. Aww...that made my day! I appreciate your kind words. Happy playing!


Thanks for you comment! Happy playing!

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