Monday, November 19, 2012

Discover Challenge: Gravity

Children learn about gravity naturally from the day they are born.  They learn that if you let go of something it falls, that if you miss a step, you fall down, and that most things are sitting on the ground.  I can only imagine what goes through little ones heads when they try to process airplanes and birds flying.  This challenge plays with the idea of gravity.

Materials: Balls, a board (or cardboard, or a table with 2 legs higher), blocks or something to directly the balls down the board.

Lay out your board so it is slanted enough for a ball to roll, but not so much that the blocks won't sit on the board.  Ask your child to roll the ball down the board.  How do you know which end is the top?  Give your child the blocks and ask them to change the direction the ball rolls using the blocks.  You can even put a target at the end (a bowl or other item) that they can get the ball to roll into.

Our Discovery: Hadley and Finley loved having a target at the end to try to get the ball into.  However, after about 10 minutes, they got a bit bored with the balls, and we started to see what else rolled down the board, and started sending cars down.  Since the board was flexible, we made a little jump at the bottom and were entertained by shooting our cars off the jump.  I love how the intended discovery was quickly left behind by the childrens' own imaginations.


  1. This is great! They have a giant magnetic board like this at our local children's museum where the kids can rearrange sections of tubes, cups, etc to figure out how to run the balls from the top of the board down into a trough at the bottom.!

  2. Fun idea! So neat that they used their imaginations to roll other things down the board.

  3. I can see the exact same thing happening here with the cars :)


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