Category Archives: 3-D art activity

A Fun and Easy Art Activity for Creative Kids: Design a Roller Coaster

Roller coasters are designed for thrills, and now you can design and make your very own 3-D roller coaster in this Fun and Easy art activity. You can even put you and your friends or family in the very first car! In this post you’ll find:

  • Supply list
  • Step-by-step directions
  • Clean-up tips
  • Variations and Adaptations to Include and Challenge Various Ages
  • 2 Ways this Activity Aids Mental, Physical, and Social Development
  • A Kid-friendly Devotion

Let’s get started!

Supply List

  • Cardboard for a base
  • Paper in all colors (use colorful papers left from other projects)
  • White glue (glue sticks may not hold)
  • Scissors
  • Markers or crayons

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Glue a plain colored paper on top of the cardboard base
  2. Cut other papers into strips of various colors and sizes (these can have straight, wavy, or even spiky edges)
  3. On plain strips you may wish to make designs with markers or crayons
  4. Put glue on ends of strips and start arranging these in loops all over the cardboard base (see photos)
  5. Make a small rectangular box or boxes for roller coaster cars (see photos)
  6. Cut small strips of paper the width of the car and draw people on these (give them different facial expressions and hair dos)
  7. Fold the bottom end of these strips under, add glue, and glue into the car (see photo)
  8. Glue the car to the top of a loop or on the way down a loop

Clean-up Tips

  • Wax paper under the strips as you add glue keeps the strips from sticking, AND makes clean up quick and easy.
  • A plastic dish tub for scraps also aids quick clean up

Variations and Adaptations to Include and Challenge Various Ages

  • Younger children may need strips cut for them and a short demo of how to make the loops.
  • Young children will need more help with the box car and people, but be sure to let them draw the people!
  • All children may need a reminder to hold each piece in place for a moment until the glue sets a little
  • For more challenge, use a larger base and make your roller coaster much larger
  • Use cardstock for stiffer loops
  • Connect the loops as if a roller coaster car could really travel on it
  • Make multiple cars
  • Use actual photographs of you and family or friends in the cars

2 Ways this Activity Aids Mental, Physical, and Social Development

  1. Learning to use scissors is an important skill for young children
  2. Making color and design choices helps enhance creativity and encourages children of all ages to learn to problem solve

A Kid-friendly Devotion

Higher and higher the roller coaster climbs. As it teeters on the top, people hold their breath. Then wooosh, down it rushes, and everyone raises their arms and screams!  

Have you ever been on a roller coaster?

How did you feel?  Excited? Scared?

Sometimes life is like a roller coaster ride. Everything is going along smoothly, and then woosh, your family moves, a new baby arrives, or your best friend gets angry with you.

Was there a time you felt as if you were on a roller coaster?

Were those rushing changes scary?  Did you feel sad or lonely?

Sometimes Jesus felt sad and rushed. In Mark 6:29-46 we learn that when His cousin, John the Baptist, was killed, Jesus and the disciples were sad and tired. But people still crowded around. Jesus and the disciples didn’t even have time to eat!

When they tried to get away, crowds followed them. Finally, that night Jesus sent the crowd away. He even told His disciples to leave in the boat.

Wow, Jesus was all alone. But was He?

No, He knew His Father was there. So Jesus climbed up the mountainside to talk to Him. He trusted His Father to give Him comfort and strength to continue the rush of His earthly ministry.

When changes rush at you and you’re scared, Jesus promises you can talk to Him just like that. Jesus is with you and will never leave you (Deuteronomy 31:8), and He will comfort and strengthen you.

And when you are sad or lonely, remember Jesus will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).

Prayer: Dear Jesus, we know you sometimes felt sad and tired, so you understand just how we feel. Thank you that we can come and talk to You about these things, and You will comfort and strengthen us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Before You Go

If you’d like more activity ideas for art, history, and nature, curriculum connections, and links to more resources, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. Just click the sign-up  button above on the right. You’ll receive a free guide to making art museum visits a fun masterpiece for your whole family. Even if your family isn’t into museums, the quarterly issues have lots of fun stuff for kiddos!

Visit my website where you’ll find free downloadable puzzles, how-to-draw pages, and coloring pages. There’s also an updated list of my hands-on workshops, chapels, and presentations for all ages.

Our last post used zigzag and curved lines for ocean waves, and so does the roller coaster, so on  a recent walk, Molly posed with zigzag shadows! Molly and I hope you enjoyed making a roller coaster. Sign up to receive our posts by email, and don’t miss a fun and easy, AND  squishy paint activity!