What is a Rube Goldberg Machine?

Have you ever heard of a Rube Goldberg machine? Even if you haven’t, you probably already know what one is. It’s basically a series of chain reactions/simple machines that does some job (or jobs).

This group has put together tons of these using dominoes and other simple things you have around your house. My (Paige’s) kids spent hours one day watching videos like this one on YouTube, and then they were inspired to create their own. While most of the time I strictly limit the amount of screen time my kids get, I didn’t inhibit their viewing this time. Since then, they have spent hours creating marble runs (not quite like this one) and other Rube Goldberg machines, and they have so much fun doing it.

They work together, and they explore what works and what doesn’t work. They use trial and error to discover, which is huge in a society where we all expect immediate answers (thank you Google!).

This is one of the coolest things you can let your kids do by themselves! I gave mine a box full of stuff and let them go to town. What’s in the box, you ask? I mostly put in there junk like toilet paper and paper towel tubes, cardboard boxes (from all of our Amazon deliveries), old business cards, straws, plastic bags, colored paper and card stock, and dollar store finds like velcro strips, magnets, marbles, rubber bands, and office supplies like tape, glue, binder clips, and paper clips. Pretty much any “not filthy” thing you want to throw away could be given to this cause.


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