How to: Make a marble run

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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!

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7 Comments

  1. I love it. I come back to your blog after a week’s break and the first thing I find is another genius idea for the kids! I was thinking about you today as I was with my boys. I MUST do that masking tape thing one time soon.
    Ronnie xo
    Pink Ronnie recently posted..My first scrapbook revealMy Profile

    • I think I’m going crazy Ronnie, I’m sure I replied to this comment? I think the Nuffnang conference is still taking it’s toll on me LOL
      Have fun with the tape and marbles!

  2. Such a cool idea!
    Thanks for sharing… might even have to use it in my teaching one day :)
    xx
    Rinniez recently posted..guide to life: how to win giveawaysMy Profile

    • For sure, it’s so much fun, and the bigger the kids the more independent that can be with the making.

  3. Oooh so cool!

    Must start stashing away cardboard tubes so we can have a go at this!
    katepickle recently posted..Printable Paper Rockets!My Profile

  4. how awesome are you?!!
    we would never be able to do it with chocolate…maybe koolmints..do they still have those?
    ally recently posted..~ when the National Anthem came to school ~My Profile

  5. My 4-year-old is fascinated by marbles right now, so this is perfect. Thanks for the idea!

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