Looking for an easy indoor activity for kids? Try making a DIY ball ramp using a carboard box and broom handle. This fun and simple activity comes together in just minutes, but kids will be playing with it for way longer than that.
The DIY ball ramp is a necessity
What is it about kids and cardboard boxes?
They’s basically like peas and carrots and the stuff dreams are made of. Usually my kids decorate their cardboard boxes but this day… this day I decided to turn it into DIY ball ramp.
Cardboard boxes are magical. Don’t ever forget that! My kids love decorating their cardboard boxes (which we keep for months on end), making roads out of them, and have you seen this epic marble run from Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls?
But my kids had never experienced the fun of a ball ramp until this activity.
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How to make a DIY ball ramp
There was a method to creating this ball ramp: all thanks to my husband who figured out the linchpin to this whole set up.
First: I didn’t want it to just be a ramp. We needed a little more excitement.
I wanted this to be similar to Ski Jumping (the winter Olympics were on when I first did this activity).
Here’s what we came up with:
- Cut open the box so it’s flat
- Fold back the flaps and taped them down
- Tape my broom stick to the back. That’s the trick. Gotta make the ramp part nice and sturdy.
- For the bottom of the ramp, I folded up the bottom to make it curve just like a ski jump ramp. It worked perfectly.
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This indoor activity set up is worth it
Usually, I have a strict “this can’t take more than 1 minute to set up” policy. My favorite activities are always the easiest activities.
But this was well worth the 5 minutes to set it up because my kids played with it ALL.DAY. Then all day the next day – basically until the floor was so dirty that I needed my broom back and even then, we swapped it was a garage broom and play resumed.
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What do kids do with the DIY ball ramp
For obvious starters, they roll balls down the ramp.
But again, I wanted a little more.
At the bottom of our ball ramp, I added a target aka a basket to catch the balls (in later years, I added a muffin tin for more precision).
The balls didn’t always make it into the target but having something to aim for made it just a little bit more than randomly rolling balls down a cardboard box.
Challenges to try with the ball ramp
Here are some ideas for ways to change up this activity or add a little something extra:
- Keep track of which balls jump the farther – put them in order
- Try rolling other items – which work best
- Make it more like Skee ball and add multiple basket
Cardboard boxes and kids – it’s a relationship that just never gets old. Buuuuut if you do need a change of pace, try making a DIY toy (this ball ramp) as a fun random activity that your kids are bound to enjoy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Any age that enjoys rolling balls down a ramp. This activity has a wide age range – from one year olds to 11 year olds, everyone gets a kick out of a ball ramp.
Of course not! Indoor activities are an extra or a tool to use when you need to break up the day. They are NOT a requirement of parenting or childhood.
I usually end up moving this outside and adding paint. I let the kids make it an outdoor ramp and decorate it how they like.