DIY Magnetic Marble Track

At the beginning of this summer, we spent a day at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, CA.  If you’ve never been there, it is such a fun experience with tons of hands on exhibits.  One of my daughter’s favorites was a wall with plastic magnetic tubes to create a “marble track” and little balls to test it out on.  She spent quite awhile rearranging the tubes to make different tracks and trying them out.  As I watched her, I started thinking about how I could make something similar at home, and this idea was born.

I began saving toilet paper and paper towel rolls and waiting for just the right time to create our DIY Magnetic Marble Track.  This Saturday was the perfect day!  My oldest was away at camp with his youth group and my two younger kids were having a pajama day.  My husband was taking a nap and the kids were getting “bored,” so together we created this super fun “boredom buster!”

Check out my daughter’s “Craft Time With Karis” video tutorial (above) to learn how to make these with your own kids.  It took some trial and error, but we figured out the best way to keep the tracks up and the best balls to use.  Here are a couple of tips:

  • make sure your magnets are strong enough…we tried some at first that would not hold
  • use light weight balls: we found my son’s Nerf Rival Bullet Balls to be the perfect balls for this project.  Small bouncy balls were a close second.  Marbles were too heavy and knocked the tracks right off.  Experimenting with different options is part of the fun!
  • even though we used magnets that were sticky on one side, it is best to hot glue them as well for a stronger hold

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For more “Craft Time With Karis” videos click on the following:

DIY Kids Magnetic Puzzles

Colored (RAINBOW) Rice

Tricky Hopscotch (with a twist)

Valentine Craft: Cookie Cutters & Paint

 

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Exploding Easter Egg Nerf Gun Targets

Today my 11 year old son had to stay home from school because he woke up with pink eye.  Bummer day…or so we thought!  Cleaning the house was at the top of my agenda, but then Micah started playing around with his newest Nerf Gun, the Nerf Centurion.  He grabbed some duct tape and popsicle sticks and rigged up a hanging target to shoot at.   Somewhere in the middle of house cleaning and target practice, Micah and I came up with this super fun activity that we like to call “Exploding Easter Egg Nerf Gun Targets.”

Did you know that some plastic Easter eggs have two little holes at the bottom?  Well these holes came in handy for today’s activity and so did the duct tape and little sister’s bag of sequins.  Check out our tutorial about how we made these explosive Easter eggs!  They may be messy…but they sure are fun!

Helpful Tip:  If your plastic eggs do not have holes (2 of ours did not), you can easily make holes by hammering a nail through the bottom of your eggs (from the inside) two times about 1/2 inch apart.  I used a wood block under my eggs while hammering so they didn’t crack.

For more Nerf Gun fun check out my blog post Nerf Target PracticeIMG_7626IMG_7601IMG_7619

Nerf Target Practice

Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned Nerf Battle?  My 10 year old son was who I had in mind when I added Nerf Wars and Target Practice to our Advent activities this year.  But let’s be honest…this is fun for any age…even the grown ups!

We started our evening by creating these spinning targets, which were a big “hit!” I prepared everything ahead of time by cutting circles out of empty food boxes and setting out markers, tape, two circles per person, large craft sticks, straws cut to size, pennies to weigh the spinners down at the bottom, a piece of string, and a couple of push pins.  Then we sat down at our coffee table to create.  Check out my tutorial to see how we made the spinners.

Next we each selected our Nerf Gun, grabbed a couple of soft bullets and had target practice.  We also stacked up some red cup pyramids to shoot down and then ended our evening with a boys vs. girls living room Nerf Battle, using a jump rope to divide the room in half.  The last one standing was the winner.  Want to know who the epic champion of the night was?  You guessed it…little sister for the win!

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