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Outdoor Ramps

Discover different ramps outdoors and build some of your own.


  • a variety of balls and other objects that roll or slide
  • materials to build ramps: lengths of cardboard, foam core, and wood
  • boxes and other objects for supporting the ramps
  • camera or video camera
  • drawing supplies  


Let children freely explore ramps outdoors, without specific direction.

  1. Invite them to roll objects down existing outdoor ramps (slides, hills, or sidewalks).
  2. If you have safe, grassy hills, invite children to roll down those hills themselves.
  3. The sandbox is ideal for creating ramps—steep, gentle, smooth, bumpy, or curvy ones.
  4. After a day or two of exploring existing ramps, you can give them materials for building their own ramps, choosing locations that are safe for rolling balls.
  5. Notice what captures children’s attentions. At times, ask them to talk about what they are making or doing and/or what they are noticing and wondering.
  6. Take photos or videos and encourage children to draw pictures and write about their experiences and the ramps they build.