How to build a ball run with Grimm's Wooden toys: a step-by-step guide — Oskar's Wooden Ark Skip to content
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How to build a ball run with Grimm's Wooden toys: a step-by-step guide

Over the last few months we have seen some very inspiring ball runs on social media. A very frequently asked question in our Facebook group 'The Wooden Ark Family' is:

  • What items do you need to build a basic ball run?
  • How do you build the ball run?
  • Can you show me some ball runs in action?

Emily from @buildingwithrainbows has written a guest blog for Oskar's Wooden Ark and will answer all those questions for you today. We hope you enjoy reading AND building with your little ones!

How to build a ball run with Grimm's Wooden toys: a step-by-step guide

It can be easy to think that you need to have multiple trays of blocks to build an exciting ball run, but with a bit of creative stacking, that doesn’t have to be true.  Using the Grimm Wooden Toys sets pictured above (L-to-R):  Bridges, Large Rainbow, Semi-circles, Stepped Roofs, Basic Building Set + Small Rainbow balls (12-pack), you can build this really solid-length and not-too fussy ball run. Feel invited to follow along below for "step-by-step" instructions to put this together.

5 different sections 

With almost every ball run, its easiest to start building at the end, and work your way up. This one you could certainly do from the bottom up (I did, as you can see from the pictures), but the spacing is easier to figure out on this one if you build from the top. The sections of run are numbered here - we’ll walk through building them in this order.


Section 1:

To build the tower, start at the bottom using the turquoise, green and blue arches of your Grimm's Large Rainbow with their corresponding semi-circle plates, and stack them like showed in the photo above.

On top of the light blue arch, place two of the blue (12 cm) blocks, each with a purple (8 cm) block on top. On top of the turquoise arch, place two of the smaller red triangles from the Grimm's Basic Building Set, each with one of the purple (8cm) blocks on top. The top of these should all be at the same height.

Centered on the four posts, place the second-largest semi-circle, with the corresponding, second-largest, arch on top of it.  Take one piece of the stepped roofs, flip it upside down and place it on the right side of the arch to make a ramp.

Take the next (orange) arch and corresponding semi-circle and place these on top of the previous layer, off-set as shown so that when the ball falls off this arch, it lands on the ramp below it. Add another flipped stepped roof piece.

TIP: Stop here and test to make sure it is lined up right, if not adjust until it works.

Repeat the previous step, with the yellow arch and semi-circle + stepped roof piece.

Stop again and and test to make sure it is lined up right, if not adjust until it works.

Section 1 is now complete and should look like this:

Section 2:

Section 2 is straight forward to build - use the two large red triangles under one of the green arches and put the largest bridge piece on top. The hardest part of this section is lining up this piece so that it neatly catches the ball as it exits section 1. Stop again and test to make sure it is lined up right so that the whole thing works, if not adjust until it works.

Section 3:

Section 3 - similar to section 2, this one is the 2nd largest bridge on top of a green arch.  Again, the important part is getting the spacing lined up so it catches the ball. Stop again and test to make sure it is lined up right so that the whole thing works, if not adjust until it works. 

Section 4:

The placement on this section is critical. Run a ball from the top of the run, and watch where it lands after the second bridge - this will give you a good idea of where to start building section 4. 

Place the blue and purple arches as the base of the support for section 4.

Put a green elbow on top of each arch.

Put the largest semi-circle and arch on top of the elbows.  Put two pieces from the stepped roofs on top of the semi-circle to help guide the ball into the arch as it lands (ignore the parts of section 5 in this picture).

Stop again and test to make sure it is lined up right so that the whole thing works, if not adjust until it works.

Section 5:

We’re building and odd-shaped base here, so bear with me. The goal is a support for the lime semi-circle that is 8cm high, and if yours is differently supported, it’ll still work just as well. If you have another block set, using other bigger blocks will make it easier in this case I was sticking within the boundaries of the sets listed at the start.

Put together these pieces to begin the support for the lime semi-circle plate.  The yellow/purple piece is two pieces of stepped roofs combined. And there’s a purple 8 cm block on top of a blue 12 cm block, half-out of the picture - you’ll adjust the placement of this once you know exactly where the semi-circle sits.

Add three cubes like this (in retrospect I should have flipped that red triangle the other way to be more stable), but if it holds, then its good!

There’s a second red triangle with a yellow cube on it as the last support for the arch - add it as shown (ignore both sets of steps for the minute, they’re shown for context).

Add the lime semicircle and arch as shown, then adjust the base to make sure it’s supporting the semicircle.

 

Now take a set of steps and use the bottom step to wedge up the side of the semicircle that catches the ball as it exits section 4.

Stop again and test to make sure it is lined up right so that the whole thing works, if not adjust until it works.

Elevate a stepped roofs piece using a purple (8cm) block at the outlet of the semi-circle to lead the ball out of the lime section into the finish circle.

Give it a run!  (and make a few adjustments along the way if you need to).

Congratulations and enjoy! 

These are the pieces that should be left over at the end.

Do you want to see a larger variety of simple and more complex ball runs? Make sure to follow Emily at @buildingwithrainbows on Instagram!  

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Comments

Bisera - July 21, 2020

This is super quality content. Thanks Simon for always being so customer-centric in everything that you do. Emily, I do follow you, and your account is amazing, but it’s great having it broken down like this. Thank you 😊

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