How to: Make a marble run

Recently my cardboard tube collection had reached an all time high. I get kinda excited about these things. I decided to put these tubes to good use, and the first thing that came to mind was a marble run. Of course Pebble helped me, and this is how we did it.

How To Make a Marble Run

You will need:

  • cardboard tubes (from inside paper towel, glad wrap, wrapping paper, etc)
  • strong tape (I used plumber’s tape that we had laying around the house. I bought it in a pack of three from my local supermarket for less than $5).
  • a large sheet of strong cardboard or a cardboard box to create your marble run on (or stick it straight on the wall or fridge, if you dare!)
  • stickers or markers for decoration (optional)
  • other junk materials for creating interest to your marble run (optional)
  • marbles (also, optional, apparently! Keep reading….)

How to make a marble run

1. Cut your tubes into 10cm widths and then in half length ways, so that you have several open, curved pieces of cardboard to make your marble run. This part is not very toddler friendly, so why not set up your toddler with some of the cardboard tubes and a packet of dot stickers. Hours of fun, right there!

How To Make a Marble Run
{yep, PJs again}

2. Stick your marble run pieces to your cardboard box/sheet/fridge using the strong tape. You will need to stick each piece so that it is sloping downwards just enough to allow for each marble to roll, and so that it catches each marble as it falls from the piece above. There is probably some kind of mathematical trick to this, but we just used trial and error. Our tape was silver, and I used it to cover each piece before sticking it to the box. This made it stronger and, with some coloured dots, more pretty :)

How To Make a Marble Run

3. I also used a cardboard tube left whole to create a “tunnel” for the marbles to fall through, as well as a cut open plastic bottle as a funnel, and a plastic cup to catch each marble at the bottom of the run.

How To Make a Marble Run

4. So, your marble run is all ready for some marbles. This is where I kinda hit a snag. Yep, only I would create a marble run when we DON’T OWN ANY MARBLES!). Luckily we were able to improvise. I had some smarties and Cadbury Mini Drops (I heart those!) which were just right for the job. Pebble doesn’t really eat chocolate, she just likes to play with it (sorting the colours is a big hit), so I didn’t need to worry about the ‘toys’ disappearing. Do you know how hard it is to find marbles in the shops?! I looked all through our local mall and couldn’t find them anywhere. The search continues!

Have you made anything with a cardboard tube lately? Do tell!

Post Office Play

Post office play is the stuff that many a childhood is made of. Kids of all ages can easily relate and join in. Pebble loves getting letters in the mail (who doesn’t?!) especially birthday party invitations. The little minx been known to pinch invitations from the fridge and hide them strategically around the house. This inspired me to organise some post office play.

Post office play
{Pebble posting some “letters”. Otherwise known as sticks and stones}

There are some are lots of fun and creative ideas out there for making a play post office or mail box. I am not a craft wizard, and like to make things simply with what we already have to hand. We used a nappy box, some wrapping paper, a bottle top, old cards, scissors, sticky tape, stickers, a few Australia post logos printed from Google Images, and some writing tools.

First, I used scissors to cut holes into the nappy box – one to post letters in, and one to get letters out.

Post office playPost office play

Then we wrapped the box in wrapping paper, making sure to stick it down really well (thanks to Pebble for all those extra pieces of tape!), before cutting through the paper were our mail slots were.

Post office playPost office play

We glued a handle to the back flap, so that the postie could easily get to the letters.

Post office play

Then it was time to write some letters. I have a big stack of cards, some used and some new (thanks Mel!). I sorted through them and picked out a few for Pebble to use in her letter box. She wrote letters to Daddy, Mummy, Rosie (her teddy) and herself. She then used stickers as postage stamps.Post office play

Then the best bit – posting the letters! We made a rookie error here – make sure that your post slot is wider than the paper or cards you intend to post.. whoops! We were only just able to squeeze Daddy’s letter in through the slot.

Post office play

“Mummy, I need my bike, I’m gonna be the postie!”, she said.

Post office play20120613_161017

She delivered all the cards to our beds, one on each pillow. “Let’s get in bed and read our cards Mummy”, she said. I had to have a laugh at that suggestion – it made me realise that we always open our birthday cards in bed, I guess it’s become our family tradition.

Post office play

Now I just need to keep some cards, small paper and envelopes in the craft corner so that new letters can be written and posted. I think the toys in this house are going to be inundated with fan mail.

Have you posted any letters to toys lately? Did they write back?