Ramps and Blocks

Ramps are fun, engaging, and they empower children to design their own learning! These open-ended materials have no one “correct” way to assemble or connect them and move children to ask questions, build, test, and problem solve, all through authentic play. Ramps inspire exploration with math concepts such as measurement, quantity, order, and pattern, while providing a practical understanding of physical science concepts like angle, slope, direction, and height. We cannot say enough about the learning taking place as children plan their designs, build, run into challenges, and problem solve.

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Our selection of ramps is by far the more robust and thoughtfully designed available. With years of testing and development the Kodo Classroom is filled with ramps both indoors and out. Beginning with our wooden Discovery Ramps we have developed numerous accessories to spur creative thinking, offer challenge, and add complexity and depth to exploring all that ramps have to offer.

Single Set

Single Set Includes:

  • Four 3 Ft. Ramps
  • Six 2 Ft. Ramps
  • Four 1 Ft. Ramps
  • Ten Wooden Balls
  • Two 6” TubesOne 12” Tube

Triple Set

Triple Set Includes:

  • Twelve 3 Ft. Ramps
  • Eighteen 2 Ft. Ramps
  • Twelve 1 Ft. Ramps
  • Thirty Wooden Balls
  • Six 6” Tubes
  • Three 12” Tubes

Deluxe Set

Deluxe Set with Caddy Includes:

  • 14 Ramps – Four 3 Ft., Six 2 Ft. , Four 1 Ft.
  • 30 Wooden Balls with
  • 2 small storage bags
  • Two 6” Tubes, One 12” Tube
  • Ramp Caddy
  • The Deflector Kit

Discovery Ramp Kits

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“My favorite thing about ramp play is the diversity. The kids are always coming up with new ideas and functions for the materials and really have to use problem solving logic to create. I love seeing kids work together, figuring out how to raise a ramp a bit higher, make the ball roll faster, or problem solve why the ball missed its target. It’s just fun!”

– Jean Bigham
Teacher, Discovery Point Preschool

About the Play

Where in the classroom do ramps belong?

Ramps and ramp accessories naturally compliment construction in the block area indoors and outdoors in the sandbox. However, ramps can be used to create a stand alone physical science learning center. Children may also want to use them for dramatic play or story props. Some sets are well suited to for sensory play indoors and out.

How do ramps fit into Environmental Rating Scale objectives?

Ramps fit in the block area as block accessories and are fully supported by ECCRS.

What type of programs use ramps?

Ramps are very universal! Play-based, center-based, inquiry-based, constructivist, multi-age, nature-based, summer camp, holiday care, before and after school care, and family child care programs all use ramps. Children’s museums, libraries, and parent play groups also use them. Truthfully, we have had middle and high school science teachers order our ramp sets because they, too, want their students to experience the hands-on learning of physical science that ramps offer.

How should ramps be introduced?

Depending on the children’s, age and developmental abilities, introduce ramps slowly with limited parts and a few balls. As children become comfortable using the ramps and combining them with other construction materials, increase the parts and add more variables like elevation items. Objects such as boxes, carpet squares, and sandbags are terrific for children to use to elevate and support ramp structures indoors. Try adding natural materials such as rocks, sand, and tree stumps for outdoor ramp explortation.

My children love ramps. What do you reccommend to expand their experiences?

Consider our Rubber Ramp. It’s a 25 ft. section of flexible rubber with raised edges to hold balls in place while allowing them to travel smoothly. Challenge the children to combine wooden Discovery Ramps with the Rubber Ramp. Additionally, they can can form banks, curves, and continuous courses with hills and even loops! Tip: Cut the Rubber Ramp into two 12.5 ft. sections for side by side track comparisons or for sharing with another classroom.

What are the educational benefits and skills children develop using Kodo ramps?

There are so many! Some examples; a foundational understanding of motion, mechanics, physical science, and systems thinking, which will be of benefit as students progress through preschool into primary and secondary school. Ramp play compels children to practice process skills such as observation, prediction, experimentation, and data interpretation. Additionally you can expect to see progress with collaboration, communication, and create problem-solving. Wow!

What can I say to parents about the value of ramp play?

“Today your child learned about slope and the resulting velocity of a ball. She did this while actively engaged in play with the ramps and balls.” – Every parent would be happy with a daily report similar to that! There is so much inquiry, trial and error testing, collaboration, communication, and STEM learning that results from play and exploration with ramps. As you become accustomed to observing children’s experiences, you’ll easily identify their skill growth and concept development and can more than adequately explain the value!

Why don't Kodo ramps have connectors?

Connecting ramps is a common and fundamental problem for children to solve. Connectors may seem like a good thing, but in actuality offering a component like a connector robs a child of an opportunity to think critically and be inventive to find solutions. Encourage children to arrange the ramps in different ways or combine them with other construction materials on hand in order to solve the problem. Help them to test their ideas systematically and eventually they will figure it out. When they do, the satisifaction and benefits of uncovering a problem and solving it will be well worth the time it took!

How does ramp play support my program's curriculum?

Children experience ramps and inclined planes all the time in their daily experiences. Tie ramp experiences to lessons, investigations, and studies of topics such as the following; inclined planes and simple machines, roads and bridges, buildings, structures, and architecture, systems and parts and wholes, force, motion and gravity, speed, distance, and measurement. Use ramps in the block and construction learning center to support physical science, mathematics, and engineering skill development.

About the Product

Where/how are ramps and ramp and accessories stored?

We have storage options for all of our ramps, from the Discovery Ramp Caddy to the Outdoor Ramp Stand. If budget is a limiting factor, plastic bins or tall waste baskets are great storage options.

What ramps should I buy first? I have a limited budget, what should I start with?

Discovery Ramps Single set is a fantastic beginner set for both children and adults in a preschool or school-age program. They are easily integrated into the block or physical science area and simple to use to begin ramp exploration. Choose the Toddler Ramp Set for toddlers and twos or as a multipurpose set that can be used to compliment block play or used with sensory materials for any age group.

How many ramps are reccomended per child?

We design ramp sets for multiple children in a classroom learning center setting. For instance our single Discovery Ramp set can easily engage a small group of four to six children. Outdoor Ramps sets are, in general, often paired with tubes, pipes, and natural parts such as rocks and tree stumps. Due to the addition of so many accessories you may already have on hand these sets will accomodate six to eight children working in pairs or small groups. You may find that there is a need for extra balls to satisfy the numbers of children interested in ramps. Use what you have on hand and look to us for a wide variety of options.

What other materials can be paired with ramps?

When thinking about ramp add-ons, consider items that present challenge, opportunity, or possible solutions. Materials that offer options for elevation are important. We designed Swiss Ramp Stands and Criss-Cross Blocks in a way that allows children to arrange them with ramps freely. A variety of balls and rolling materials also tops our list. Loose parts such as components from our Spools or Wheels Packs would be very valuable for testing and comparison. As children become comfortable with using ramps, they’ll dream up all sorts of things they’d like to try with them.

How do I clean my ramps?

Please follow your program’s cleaning and sanititizing protocols.

Can I order extra balls?

Yes, it’s recommended! Kodo has many different types of balls for you to choose from. Offering a variety provides variation for children which results in various outcomes. Ball collections are great for comparison, testing, problem-solving, and experimentation.

What kinds of materials are appropriate with Outdoor Ramp Sets?

Kodo’s Outdoor Ramps and Toddler Ramps sets are made from durable plastic. In addition to balls and small rolling objects, use sand, water, mud, slurry and just about any type of natural material available.

What resources do you have for me to learn more?

If you’re looking for classroom applications and ideas for turning activities into investigations check out Kodo’s Investigation books. We offer one for Ramps, the Rubber Ramp, and for Outdoor Ramps. If you’d like to learn more about the physics of ramp play, supporting early childhood engineering, and fostering inquiry, we offer both in-person and on-line professional development. Learn more https://kodokids.com/pd

What children's books are recommended to support the exploration of ramps?

Oscar and the Cricket: A Book About Moving and Rolling by Geoff Waring Move It! Motion, Forces, and You by Adrienne Mason Motion: Push and Pull, Fast and Slow by Darlene R. Stille Forces Make Things Move by Kimberly Bradley Newton and Me by Lynne Mayer Big Science: Galileo’s Gamble by A.J. Cosmo Roll, Slope, and Slide: A Book About Ramps by Michael Dahl

What makes Kodo Ramps sets so special?

Kodo ramps have been especially designed by our educational product design team to maximize learning potential, engage children, and fit into the classroom environment. The ramps themselves are designed for just the right amount of cradle providing opportunity to challenge while limiting frustration. We put many small wood shops to work across the USA and are proud to support each of these small businesses, positively impacting America’s families and children.