I Spy Ramps

Child pointing to a driveway ramp.

Play the “I Spy Ramps” ramps game with your child. Does the ramp have a steep or gentle incline?

5–10 minutes


Get Ready

Materials you will need:

  • Baking sheet or large picture book
  • Ball
  • Cell phone or iPad camera
  • Positional Words Chart PDF
  • Rolling Song: Lyrics PDF
Materials PDF

Things to do before the activity:

  • Think of an area where you can explore ramps, such as a hilly park, a playground, or an accessible public building.
  • Look at the words on the Positional Words Chart with your child. Act them out: stand in front of your child, sit next to your child, and so on.
  • Display the “Rolling Song” on your iPad or phone and sing it with your child.

A character with a speech bubble and crab with a thought bubble.

I spy a steep ramp that is behind the swings!

And I spy someone pushing a grocery cart up a ramp!


Step 1.

Before you go outside, tilt a picture book or baking sheet at an angle to make a ramp. Notice the ramp’s steep or gentle incline. Roll a ball or other object down the ramp. Notice how it moves.

  • Point out that a ramp is a surface with one end higher than the other. Which end is higher?
  • How does the (ball) move down the ramp? What if the ramp were (steeper, gentler)?
  • Point out where the (ball) stopped: for example, next to, under, in front of, behind the ramp.

Step 2.

Go outside and look for ramps. When you see a ramp, give I Spy clues to help your child find it. Tell how the ramp is used. For example: I spy a gentle ramp that is behind the tree. There is a ball slowly rolling down the ramp.

  • Talk together about ramps you have noticed and how they can make certain tasks easier for people to do.

Step 3.

Find the ramp. Have your child follow the I Spy clues to find the ramp. Take a photo of the ramp.

  • Notice the ramp’s gentle incline. Why is the ball moving slowly?
  • Point out that an object tends to move faster down a steep ramp and slower down a gentle ramp.
  • Switch roles and continue playing the game.

Step 4.

Take a break if your child starts to lose interest. Sing and act out the “Rolling Song.” Replace the word hill in the lyrics with the name of a ramp you found. Then continue playing I Spy.


Look at the photos you took while playing I Spy.

  • Count the number of steep and gentle ramps you found. Are more ramps steep or gentle?
  • Which ramp is steepest? How did the object move down the steepest ramp?
  • Name objects in the photos that are under the ramp, next to the ramp, and so on.