More Tubes and Ramps

Add flexible tubes to your ramp collection.  

New Materials

  • flexible tubes, such as foam pipe insulation (1 inch diameter is ideal for large marbles)—found in hardware stores—some of which can be cut in half to make open troughs
  • other flexible tubing, such as hoses from sump pumps or shop vacs—found in the plumbing section of hardware stores—cut into 4- to 6-foot lengths.
  • masking tape or duct tape for securing flexible tubing in place
  • large marbles

Existing Materials

  • objects to roll or slide down the ramps: markers, rolls of duct tape, balls of various sizes and weights, toy cars, paper clips, plastic utensils, balls small enough to fit through the tubes, etc.
  • flat pieces of cardboard, foam core, or wood
  • various tubes: toilet paper and paper towel tubes, cutting some lengthwise in half to make open troughs; poster tubes; PVC tubes; and wooden molding of different lengths, if available.  
  • boxes and other objects for supporting the ramps
  • camera or video camera
  • drawing supplies


Flexible tubes allow children to create ramps with curves, loops, and hills. Working with flexible hoses usually requires more motor coordination than rigid ramps, which makes it good for partner and small group work.