Play Ideas

Creative Ways to Build Ramps

April 18, 2023
Preschool kids play with building bricks in while sitting on floor in daycare

Ramps are a fun and interactive tool for children to explore math and science concepts. When they roll a toy down a ramp, they’re learning to make predictions and problem solve while also learning about concepts like motion, speed, and cause and effect. There are fun ways to play with ramps at any age! Babies can watch the toys roll down the ramp and start to reach for them as they roll. Toddlers and preschoolers may start to experiment with the angles of the ramp and roll different toys down it to see what happens. Ramps can also become part of pretend play; a race between toys, a slide for a toy dinosaur or a mountain for a doll to climb. Here are some fun and creative ways to build ramps with children 0 to 6 years.

Let’s Make Ramps With…

Couch Cusions

Preschool child pushes toy car down a ramp made from a couch cusion.

Set a couch or chair cusion up against your couch/chair to make a large ramp!


Books used to make a ramp, surrounded by 6 toy cars.

Books are easy for children to move and manipulate by themselves, which makes them a great tool to experiment with building ramps. Stack some books to make a base and then use a single book for the ramp.

An Ironing Board

Two photos of a preschool aged child rolling a ball down a ramp made out of an ironing board.

Use a couch/chair and an ironing board to build a large ramp. Try rolling two toys down at one time – which toy will roll down first?

Cardboard Tubes

Child uses a cardboard tube as a ramp for craft pom poms.

Toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls and wrapping paper rolls all make great ramps! You and your child can try to steady them against different surfaces or hold the tubes at different angles to see how that changes the speed of the toys rolling down.

How to Introduce Ramps

For babies and toddlers: Show your child how the toys roll down the ramp. By watching you, they can focus on the steps you take to roll the toy and the way the toys move from one spot to the next. Eventually they may grab at the toys to stop the toy and/or try it themselves.

For toddlers and preschoolers: Invite your child to play and create ramps. Allow your child to experiment with ramps by: finding different materials to create a ramp, trying different toys/objects on the ramp, and arranging the ramps at different angles.

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