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::: cars, trains, hoops and balls


During one particularly wet morning while we couldn’t get outside, we felt the need to redirect a group of children who just wanted out!

We had some long cardboard cylinders one of the mums had brought in, so encouraged the children to put a tunnel course together to see if the cars, trains and balls would travel down.


The children had a great time joining them in various configurations and lifting them to different heights to see if objects would zoomed down them (or not!).

Sometimes objects got stuck on the way …

so they soon figured out that measuring size was important.

This activity kept them occupied and engaged for so long …

that they were in no hurry to go outside once the rain stopped.

We witnessed wonderful turn taking …

cooperation ..

and team work in action.


A few days later a couple of the children were standing at the top of the slope in our playground with hoops and decided to see how fast they would roll down and how far they would go. …


Then they tried the same experiment going down as well as up the slide!


They also grabbed some large balls and did the same with them for a while until one child suggested putting a basket at the bottom of the slide and trying to get the balls to land in it.


It was harder than it looked and needed quite a bit of judgement. We heard lots of great maths language:

“I’ll go first, you go second.”

“Roll the ball down. Now roll it up!”

“Put the basket closer.”

“Push it back a bit.”

“Try the small ball then the big one.”

“I won – you came last.”

Math’s and science is all around us. It doesn’t have to be complex we simply need to open our eyes and ears to discover it’s there!

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6 Responses to “cars, trains, hoops and balls”

  1. fab says:

    what a wonderful learning experience

  2. Teacher Tom says:

    We love tube and gutter day! And you know us, we also like to run adding machine tape down our gutters, dip balls in paint and let ’em rip! Inside! It’s almost as messy as flyswatter painting.

    Can you believe that there are people SELLING tubes and ramps for preschools to use?!

  3. Elise says:

    What fun. My parents recently did a similar sort of set up with cardboard tubes for my children and they had a ball playing with it for ages.

    The photo with the children lining up so patiently shows what a popular activity this was. I like how the activity really encouraged your students to experiment, think laterally and incoporated some maths.

  4. admin says:

    Fab – you’re right it was a wonderful experience.

    Tom – why does nothing you do surprise me any more!

    Elise – we love the way learning creeps into children play too.

  5. whoofels says:

    Loved the balls on the slide…just helped to add an extra dimension to our outside ball play!

  6. Scott says:

    Anytime I see mailing tubes around, I pick them up to use. Once, while teaching 1s, we wore out more than one tube.