I made these ramps a few years ago when my oldest daughter was a toddler, and they have been a huge hit, so I decided that it was time to share! The original inspiration came from the children’s area at the botanical gardens near our house. They have these cool wooden ramps and big building blocks in their discovery area and kids love creating their own tracks to roll balls down. I didn’t want to fork out the money for an expensive set online, so I created my own at home using large pieces of rain guttering from the hardware store.
Here’s what you will need:
- 10 feet of plastic rain guttering, cut into pieces
- Duct tape
- Sanding paper
- Matchbox cars and/or balls
- Large blocks (optional)
When I got to the hardware store and picked out the rain guttering, I quickly realized that there was no way it was going to fit into the back of our car. I had a cart full of kids. I think one of the workers took pity on me and offered to saw it into pieces for me in the store. I had them cut the plastic rain gutters into four 2’ pieces and four 3’ pieces. (This can also be done at home if you have a saw.)
Once I got the pieces home, I noticed that the corners and edges were a little rough. I was worried about little fingers so I sanded the gutter pieces down, and then used some cute patterned duct tape to soften the edges.
Next, I ordered a set of cardboard large building blocks from Amazon (Mondo Bloxx). The kids would now have some materials to prop up their tracks at different heights to experiment with how fast and far they could get their cars and balls to go. (You can also just use what you have around your yard or house to prop them up like chairs, tables, couches, etc.)
This activity has been a huge hit with our entire family, from the smaller ramps my 1 year old makes on his own to the large intricate ones my husband works on with the girls that span the entire deck and shoot the cars into a big bucket. It’s a great way to encourage your kids to get creative and be outside!