My kids have been playing with this DIY marble run all week and today I’m going to show you how to make a marble run with kids using simple, household supplies like paper rolls and tape.
Marble Run Supplies
To keep this simple (I like simple), this is all you will need:
- Cardboard rolls
- Painter’s Tape
- Marble/s or small rolling objects
- Bowl or basket
Decorate your Marble Run rolls (optional)
For this DIY marble run, we started by wrapping the paper towel and toilet paper rolls with colored masking tape. This step is purely decorative, but it added some pizazz to the design and kept my daughter busy for a good part of a morning. Totally worth it, in my estimation.
We had fun layering and wrapping tape, selecting colors, and cutting the rolls. Once the rolls were appropriately covered, I took a pair of scissors and cut the tubes in half, right down the center. N thought this looked like fun so she jumped in on the cutting action too.
Find some clear wall space
Set your marble run up on an empty wall, large window, or sliding glass door.
We found some wall space, taped the highest tube to a spot that N could easily reach, and kept on taping rolls until we had something we were happy with.
Make a Marble Run
If you want to make a marble run work, it’s best to test it as you go. Marbles move fast and like to fly right out of the tubes if they’re not positioned to catch speedy marbles. We tested the sections of our DIY marble run a few times to work out the angles and distances. This is a fabulous math and physical science lesson!
Watch the magic happen
Once we got it to a place that seemed to work, N dropped in her marble and stood back to watch the magic happen.
Add a basket to catch your marbles
We needed something to catch the balls (and jellybeans!), and a strawberry basket was just right for the job.
- Try rolling other objects down the chute. How do they compare to the marbles?
- Make chutes out of other objects such as cut-up + folded cardboard boxes or folded paper. What material/s make for the best chutes?
- Build a marble run inside a large cardboard box.
5 easy steps to set up a TinkerLab at home.