Exploring Science in Pre-K with Ramps

Exploring Ramps

Pre-K kids love exploring with ramps! I’ve posted other science activities here before involving ramps. We’ve explored ramps in our science center and we’ve experimented with ramps in small group, which you can find on the Transportation Theme page.

Last week, I set up this ramp experiment as an independent small group activity. In my classroom, the class is divided into four small groups; two groups work with a teacher and two groups work independently.

Exploring Ramps

I set up the table with one of the triangle-shaped large hollow blocks from the Block Center to use as a ramp. In a tray, I put several objects for the children to test on the ramp: some that would go down the ramp and some that would not. I just collected some random objects from around the classroom, but this is what I had:

  • dinosaur
  • bear counter
  • seashell
  • wooden cube
  • rock
  • metal nut
  • rectangle block
  • round block
  • truck
  • train
  • marker cap (two different shapes of caps)
  • plastic bingo chip
  • plastic Easter egg
  • marble
  • lid from a glitter jar

Exploring Ramps

It was interesting that some groups of children said the lid would not roll down because they laid it flat on the ramp, while other groups discovered how to roll it down. Then, one group of children even forced some objects down the ramp by hitting the table with their fists and moving them with the vibration (not really what you’d call “rolling”, but pretty smart problem-solving none-the-less).

Each child had a recording sheet to draw the objects that rolled down the ramp and the objects that didn’t. Yes, I always have kids who balk when asked to draw. I just shrug my shoulders and say “do the best you can”. Also, I told them they only had to draw one thing on each side of the paper, but every child really got so involved in the activity that they drew more than I asked (to the best of their ability). When you do this activity, be sure to include some simple-to-draw objects, for example, the rock, marble, egg, block, etc. (By the way, I folded the recording sheet in half, so there was a line (crease) divided the two sides.)

Download: Ramp Recording Sheet

Exploring Ramps Exploring Ramps Exploring Ramps Exploring Ramps


  1. Claudia says

    I just want to tell you i’ m very happy with
    This activity,i will go to do this.
    I’m from Chile and my english maybe
    Is not good, but i hope you understend me
    Thanks for beautiful ideas

  2. says

    Last week,we had Science Fair at school Calder Elem. We at home had fun trying and seeing the joy and light in Malachi’s eyes was wonderful. He explored some of your ideas which were awesome !Thank You !Well he decided on Rainbow bubbles. He won 1st place Ribbon and a t-shirt .He was so happy and myself ,excited for Malachi. Learning, is fun he said. Again , thanks for making it detailed,simple, as well fun. Sincerly,

  3. Diane Caruana says

    So simple and yet so interesting and effective. At the moment learning to identify 3-D shapes, so it will be interesting for them to experiment what can roll and what can slide. Many thanks and well done!

  4. Maricleide says

    Karen Boa Noite!

    Obrigada pelo seu carinho e dedicação ao pequenos,
    moro no Brasil e estou adorando conhecer novas culturas
    e o seu material e fantástico.

    Beijos e parabéns

  5. Sharon D. White says

    Karen, I love all of your ideas. I am glad you posted your science lessons because that is an area that is quite difficult for me sometimes. Thanks for all of this GREAT information!

  6. Angelica R-Dickerson says

    I work with pres-school age. This will use this on my lesson plan, be a very interesting opportunity for the children get challenge with this activity, and demonstrate the the logical of thinking.
    Thank you

  7. Vikki says

    Fantastic idea. Some children in my 4 yo kinder group have been building vehicles with a construction set and have enjoyed using the slide in our playground as a ramp to drive them down – I wanted to find some experiences that can extend this interest into some further learning and inquiry and this one definitely fits the bill – thank you for sharing :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *