My kids are really into cars lately, and racing them all over the place! We decided to make a little inclined plane or ramp for kids to setup and test to see what makes a car race further and faster. I absolutely love simple activities like this one. They are easy to set up at any time and the kids can usually do it themselves. Often, they’re also the activities that the kids enjoy the most!
During this activity, we’ll raise and lower the ramp to see what happens. Do the cars go further? Or go slower?
What You’ll Need:
- tape (optional)
Since I have three boys that were eagerly waiting to play, I taped two lines down the length of the inclined plane to make three lanes for them each to race their cars.
The boys gathered up books as I prepared the inclined plane. We started with two books under the ramp to see how far the cars would roll down. Since my kids are younger, we didn’t use actual measurements. I put a piece of tape down where the cars stopped and we used that to compare throughout our experiment. If you have older kids, you may want to measure and record the results.
After completing a race, the kids would add another book to the stack to make the ramp steeper. Then they’d race again, starting all over to observe if the cars would go further or faster!
My oldest is in second grade and he understood that if a car didn’t go further when the inclined plane was steeper that something was off—the car wasn’t let go properly or didn’t go straight. He always tried it again to make sure it wasn’t an error on his part.
More Adventures in Learning:
- The Wonder and Science of Flight
- Stick Bombs: An Adventure in Engineering
- The Upcycled Suspension Bridge Engineering Project
- Racing Activity with Straws & Pom Poms