Yesterday we spent the day with the kids (and their cousins families...) at the Ontario Science Center in Toronto. Great place to explore with the kids.
In the "Kidspark" area -- for the 8+under set -- there was this very cool build-it-yourself rollercoaster toy that I snapped a few shots of:
Attachment 34448 Attachment 34450
They play on this with hard rubber balls about 3" in diameter. My youngest (aged 5-and-a-half) played on this for almost 40 minutes straight.
So I spend the next half hour staring at it and trying to figure out how I can duplicate this.
The trick, I would think, is finding the right rubber extrusion for the top of the track. Here is a close up of the end:
My other thought was to try and scale this down to use a golf ball (or similar sized rubber ball). That would be a much smaller size toy, a little easier to fit in the basement! but again, trying to come up with the track part of the toy is the trick. I tried googling around for rubber extrusions, but didn't really find any ready-made products that seemed right. I wondered about garage door weather stripping, but that isn't the right shape either.
So I thought I'd turn to the bright folks out here on the the forum...
Ever seen a rubber extrusion like this? Any idea where I could find one -- and yes, cost is an issue.
OR, any thoughts about scaling this down to a golf-ball sized structure? Again, any ideas about a good rubber extrusion that would work?
I think a rubber track is mandatory. I've made some other small marble-works toys and wooden track is hard, and can lead to balls bouncing around. I think a rubber track would be more yielding and lead to a smoother action of the ball rolling along, more likely to stay on track.