Here’s a fun STEM challenge – combine cardboard boxes with Hot Wheels track to make a really awesome ball track! Elementary kids will enjoy this building challenge, and preschoolers will love it too, if someone older helps build the track.
Owen and I had a great time transforming some cardboard boxes into this track.
We started with one good sized box and some hot glue.
I cut all the flaps off the box first with a utility knife (adult job!).
Then I cut smaller pieces to make the ramps inside the box.
Our original plan was the make the box into a ramp for Hot Wheels cars, but cars are a little frustrating. Basically, it’s hard to get cars with such tiny wheels to behave the same way each time on a ramp like this. We tested all the ramps before gluing them, but the cars would work great sometimes and get stuck or flip over other times.
However, with a ball (we used a bouncy ball), this is an excellent STEM challenge. When we finished the box part, we decided to go ahead and add some car track for use with a ball. Here’s our finished track.
I cut a hole in the top of the box, and we added an empty water container to catch the ball. I just cut the bottom off of the water container and inserted the top into the hole in the box. We used a little tape to attach the starting ramp to a chair. It worked well, but I wouldn’t leave tape on a wood chair for a long period of time.
- If you have trouble with the ball falling off the ramps inside the box, try gluing some popsicle sticks to the sides of the ramps.
- We had the best success by tilting our box backwards slightly. We just taped a couple extra pieces of cardboard underneath the front of the box so that it would sit at an angle.
- We glued craft sticks to the final ramp to help the ball roll onto the orange Hot Wheels track.
Have fun tinkering!
JustCorey Mar 22, 2018
You always have awesome ideas. I've been a mother of boys for a while and we just added a girl to our crew. The three older brothers are definitely active and could use more challenges. I love the use of car tracks and legos to complete this challenge. We definitely have plenty of those around ;-)
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