In this activity, you and your child will explore motion as you build ramps and roll toys down them.
Allow your child some time to play freely with the toys. Notice what your child does that is interesting to her, and join her play for a few minutes.
Show her how to build a ramp. Stack blocks or books, then add a piece of wood or cardboard to the top of the stack to create an incline or ramp to the floor. Explain what you are doing as you build. You might say, “I’m going to make a low ramp by putting one block under this long piece of wood.” Prompt your child for predictions by asking, “What do you think will happen when we put the car on this?” Encourage your child to share her ideas and predictions with you. Then try it out! Encourage your child to put a toy or car at the top of the ramp and let it roll down. Ask her to describe what happened and compare it to her predictions. Then change the ramp to make it longer, shorter, or higher, and ask your child, “What do you think will happen this time?”
Continue to explore different ramp heights and lengths and how they affect the speed of the toy. You might ask, “What could we do to make the car go faster?” or “What would happen if we stacked the ramp up too high?” To make comparisons easier, build two ramps of different heights/lengths side-by-side and race the cars down the ramps.