Today's Topic: Friction (or Textured Ramps)
lengths of wooden cove molding
cardboard carpet tubes (optional)
things to slide down the ramps (balls, cars, marbles, blocks, etc.)
different textures to add to the ramps (foil, felt, fleece, foam sheets, burlap, silk, slate, sandpaper, etc.)
Chicken chickens / Gorbachev, Valeri
What Kids Do: Most kids just built ramps (and didn't mess with the texture):
Hindsight Tip: Since I'd already done ramps before as a class topic, I felt a bit obligated to throw in something different to change up the class. What I learned was that kids were more than happy to explore the basic "ramp" concept all over again. In fact, they'd probably be happy to roll balls down sloped tubes every week if that were the topic. This is a good reminder to me to make sure that parents understand that the topics I introduce each week aren't meant to be exhaustive, but instead are hoped to spark further exploration at home. What ramps do you have at your house? What materials could you make a ramp from? In the kitchen? In the bathroom? In the bedroom? What ramps do you see out in the world? One little girl told me about how they built a ramp out of snow this winter to roll a big snowball up that was too heavy to lift. Brilliant connection to real life! I love to hear stories like that!
Variations to try:If the weather is nice and there's a playground nearby, go play on the slides!
If your child likes to know how things work, you might want to try the Kids Discover: Simple Machines app. It's mostly reading (not many interactive activities), so it might be best for slightly older children.
Although it's not an app (yet), here's a free online game that from the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry that features all the Simple Machines. Enjoy!