This activity will have you rolling! In this experiment, you’ll find that physics isn’t just for adults or older kids. With just a few simple items, students as young as preschoolers can learn and experiment with concepts like movement, momentum, force, energy, and speed to name a few. Starting with things you likely have around the house; this activity will help you understand the basics of more complicated scientific theories while playing with some of your favorite toys in the process.
You will need:
Toilet paper roll
Different kinds of balls including:
- A bouncy ball
- A ping pong ball
- A golf ball
Try this at home!
- Bring out the materials (tubes, rectangles, and various balls) and ask yourself “How can we use these to make the ball roll?”
- Try putting the tubes together and talking about what happens when your child rolls the marbles through the materials.
- Ask questions: What do you want to do with the materials? Why? Why does the ball roll? What can you do to make the ball roll faster or slower? Does the ball roll faster or slower if its larger or heavier?
- What other materials might be helpful for making a ball roll? If you set it on a book, or a table, does it roll differently than if it’s on carpet? What if you’re outside on grass?
- Observe each time you change the conditions and note how it changes the speed of the ball.
Have fun and keep testing as often and in as many locations as you’d like! Are you looking for more ways to learn about science? Visit Arizona Science Center! We have four levels of hands-on science exhibits and demonstrations unlike anywhere else in the state. Be sure to explore Get Charged Up on level two to explore the science of physics! For more information, please visit azscience.org.