Trash Your House (and make an engineer)!

Portland, Maine – Well let’s just chalk this up to one of the ten thousand things I swore I would never do when I had kids. But here we are.  We taped our trash to the walls. And it was awesome. For someone who used to iron her guest bedroom sheets, this is huge.

Trash Engineering Run

Some cereal boxes, paper towel tubes, toilet paper rolls, and duct tape transformed the recycling bin into an engineering and math extravaganza.  We used all of these materials to make a ball maze. It was fun.

Running a golf ball through the trash obstacle course

This is a project that captured the attention of both my 2-year-old and 5-year-old.

White Ball flies through the track

Once the boys had each piece exactly where they wanted it, we held time trials.

STEM activity up cycling

Which ball completed the course the fastest? We used a wooden lemon, a golf ball, a puffy craft thing and a ball made up of aluminum foil. We timed them and noted the results in a chart.

Trash Time trial results

The wall was our canvas. But I have seen other people use giant pieces of cardboard or a sliding glass door. This turned out to be a great opportunity to prepare little minds for concepts like gravitational pull and the relationship between weight and speed. I’m not saying I’m going to win a home decorating award with this one. But maybe one day my boys will marvel at how we taped our trash to the walls when they were little!



Toddler Take-Aways and Preschool Perks

  1. Fine motor skills
  2. Engineering
  3. Physics
  4. Math
  5. Technology
  6. Science
  7. Upcycling
  8. Problem solving
  9. Fun!

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