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!