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Marble runs are awesome. Not only are they lots of fun to make and play with but there’s a really nice cause and effect kinda learning thing going on too. We made one a while back that was a little half-baked and have been meaning to re-visit them ever since. Recently made that happen and below is a bit of a run down on how we went about it.
1. Gather your materials
- A bunch of toilet paper rolls;
- Some paper towel rolls;
- 1/2 a soft drink bottle;
- A butter container and;
- A big cardboard box.
You can use whatever you like really but you’ll need tubes of some sort and something to catch your marble in at the end is also good Idea.
2. Work out the size you want it
We took a square box and created a triangle shape out of it which made for a really good support structure and also gave us a good facing side for the run.
3. Cut up your tubes
Cut your tubes in half. We actually didn’t go quite in half (See above) and found this gave the runs a little more support. You could go totally next level on this and leave your tubes hole and cut drop in points. We didn’t, but YOU could:)
4. Fix your tubes to your box
This is the fun part and requires a bit of trial and error. This, for us, is where the “Make-do” really came into its own. If you didn’t have make-do, you could use split pins or “brads” for this but you probably want to use some kind of cardboard punch (Like a pencil) to make the holes for them a little easier.
Tip: Fix one side of your tube to the wall so you can then easily work out your angles for optimum rolling.
5. Add in some cool extra bits
We cut the top off a bottle of soft drink which made an ace funnel, we get some good spiral action from it. You could go total next level here and add in items that make sounds as you go. The possibilities are endless (depending on imagination and scale of course)
6. Attach some kind of bucket / catcher at the bottom
This is definitely a good idea as otherwise, you will end up with marbles EVERYWHERE!
Our marble run doesn’t get a perfect run every time and this really bothered me at first because, of course, I wanted it to be perfect, but… It adds a level of skill / chance and it adds a bit of a game element to it. A reason to cheer when it makes it all the way through. Like this awesome example on vine. BTW, How much fun is Vineapp?!
Anyway… This has been a really fun cardboard project and has actually had quite a bit of longevity. Have you made a marble run, we’d love to see your pics.