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Explore and Play: Up and Down Game

Can you make a game with a marble that goes up and down?


  • a choice of ramps (flat, tube, or flexible tube) 
  • balls or large marbles
  • camera or video camera

Key Science Concepts

  • When a rolling or sliding object hits an obstacle, it will stop or slow down and its direction may change.


Tell children that they just saw a video about rolling a marble up and down a ramp. Now they’ll invent a game in which a marble moves up and down a ramp.

  1. Divide children into pairs.
  2. Have them choose a ramp and have each partner hold on to one end of ramp.
  3. Place the ball or large marble on the ramp and invent a game in which the marble travels back and forth from one end of the ramp to the other. 

Share and Reflect

Ask each pair to demonstrate how their game works.  Take photos or video. Ask them why they chose the ramp they did to play the game. Why is this a good ramp for the game?  Can they describe what they did to make the ball move back and forth over the ramp?  Is there a kind of ramp that would be hard to play this game with? Why?