Playing with ramps and things that roll helps your child learn simple principles of physical science and engineering. Use these simple activities to experiment together. Talk about what you see.
1. Make a Ramp: Make a ramp by propping up one end of a game board, a picture book, or a piece of cardboard. (Try using a box or a stack of blocks to prop up your ramp.)
2. Slide or Roll?: Gather objects like those suggested above. Ask your child to predict what might happen when you try to send one of these objects down the ramp: What do you think will happen when you put this at the top of the ramp? Will it slide? Will it roll? Will it stay put? Why do you think so? Let your child try it out. As you play, sort your objects into things that roll and things that don't.
3. Experiment: Place one of the rolling objects at the top of the ramp, but face it in a different direction. For example, place a car sideways instead of forward, or stand a bottle up instead of placing it on its side. Ask your child: What do you think will happen? Will this still roll? Then let your child try it out.
Try these additional experiments with your child. Talk about what you discover. Then make up new experiments together!
Age Range: 3-5
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