If you are familiar with Rube Goldberg Machines™ you know you are in for a treat. If you have not yet discovered these fascinating machines you are really going to love them. Either way, we have a great collection of Rube Goldberg machine information including videos, free games, apps, books, toys and information on making your own Rube.
Rube Goldberg is best known for his drawings of complicated machines designed to complete simple tasks. Many know he was a cartoonist but did you know that he was also an inventor and an engineer? He won a Pulitzer Prize for his political cartoons as well.
These machines are so much fun and I can tell you from our experience in making our own, they are packed with so much learning opportunities you simply won’t believe it. We had a blast!
I looked at a lot of different websites to gather the best Rube Goldberg materials for you and your boys. There are a lot of really fun things to play around with here, plus some books where you can see his original work. Use these Rube Goldberg Ideas to get you started.
I invite you to Play and Learn with Rube Goldberg and his wonderful machines.
This post may contain affiliate links which means we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. All opinions are our own and we share things we think would be of interest to boys.
image credit copyright Jeff Kubina “Rube Goldberg Machine” altered
Rube Goldberg Ideas
Rube Goldberg Games
We searched out the very best games and found the ones that were fun to play and free!
- Goldburger to Go is short game with questions asking what to do next. You can get tips and hints. This is a good game for beginners as you fix (with a tiny wrench) the board to work properly instead of having to put things in place.
- Here is another game for beginners called Burglar Catcher. Though to be honest the graphics are not great and I personally don’t care for the concept which is to get the dog to bite the burglar who is trying to break into your home but some boys I know thought it was very funny. You decide. I included it because some of the other games get pretty hard quite fast and I wanted younger boys to have a few to try.
- The Compound Machine starts with a robot, a stopped up toilet and the search for a plunger. This is a fun little adventure with some info on simple machines, pulleys and levers and more.
- Tom and Jerry! Tom’s Trap-o-Matic is neat but pretty hard. For some reason we had trouble making our contraptions work on occasion, even though it looked like everything was lined up correctly and should go fine. Oh well, it gave us lots of chances to experiment. If you have a cartoon fan on your hands you might want to give this one a go.
- Awesome and one of our favorites! Dynamic Systems is a great game, very challenging as they go on, and a ton of fun. I was really excited to find these. The object is to get the metal ball into the cup. Simple? Hmm. There are neat added parts as you go along like bouncing platforms, crates and dominos. Puzzlingly delightful.
- Wallace and Grommet presents Invention Suspension: Cracking ‘Copter Capers. I am a fan of Wallace and Grommet—there, I admitted it 🙂 This is a lot of fun and very clever. If, by chance, your helicopter– um, goes down the chute because you have never flown a helicopter before and you had no idea what you were doing and were slamming into walls and then it just seemed to fall into the chute, just fly back out! LOL Anyway, lots of fun to be had with the helicopter and even more once you get all of the pieces to the workshop.
Want more games? We have more Rube Goldberg games here.
Rube Goldberg Apps
There are several apps that are Rube Goldberg based.
- Rube Works: The Official Rube Goldberg Invention Game (Amazon) is the official app put out by the folks at the official Rube Goldberg website–very official! (iTunes)
- Pettson’s Inventions and Pettson’s Inventions 2
Rube Goldberg Books
We ended up doing a whole post on the wonderful books that feature information about Rube Goldberg and share his cartoons and information about the wacky machines. Click on this link to take you to the Rube Goldberg Books list.
Rube Goldberg Style Toys and Games
Mousetrap is likely the best known Rube Goldberg machine game. We have it, and the pieces are used on their own as often as they are within in the game.
- Keva has a couple of contraptions sets that are very open-ended. Their sets are high quality and made out of wood. KEVA Contraptions 200 piece set and Contraptions 50 Plank Set
- I think Weird and Wacky Contraption Lab from SmartLab Toys looks pretty darn neat. Click through on the picture to see the 2 foot board you can build on. We have other SmartLab toys and have been happy with them–this one looks like a lot of fun.
- Be sure you don’t miss LEGO Chain Reactions. LEGO and Rube Goldberg? What an awesome combination!
We like Rube Goldberg toys so much we did a whole article on them. 12 Rube style toys that will get you and your kids learning.
Rube Goldberg Videos:
One of the best ways to really see what a Rube Goldberg Machine™ is all about is to watch a video of one.
This video is full of Rube Goldberg ideas. It is a Christmas machine that uses toys!
Here is a photography Rube Goldberg machine. What a lot to go through to take a photo! Can you imagine how long it took them to set this one up?
Be Amused and Amazed with Rube Goldberg Video is a great collection of videos that we put together. We also gathered together videos on the Rube challenge to Open a Door. Be sure to click through for more video favorites.
The best video of all is this one called The Way Things Go. Full of fire, air blasts, objects moving and flinging about–a 30 min chain reaction extravaganza. We have watched this many times and it is about impossible to take your eyes off it. I linked to Amazon but check the price before purchasing. Sometimes the price is reasonable and other times it is way up there.
Build A Rube Goldberg Machine:
Rube Goldberg machines are fun to build yourself. If you liked the machines in the videos and games you should totally give it a try. Using simple household items such as LEGO, dominos, books, marble runs, paper tubes, boxes, sticks and more you can create a machine.
Have fun, experiment, imagine and invent! There is a ton of learning going on when creating one of these awesome chain-reactions.
- Here is a wikiHow giving some steps and ideas for building your own machine.
- If you really get into it and want to start entering competitions here is a great manual that will help you and your boys.
- Last but certainly not least is the Official Rube Goldberg Website. Each year they hold a Rube Goldberg Machine Contest (RGMC) which is a national competition for students in middle school through college for building the “most elaborate and hilarious Rube Goldberg Machine.” You can also view some of Rube’s drawings, watch a few videos and find out more about the contest.
- We put together a comprehensive list of Tasks & Materials to Make Your Own Machine. Be sure to check it out if you decide to make one. It is a great resource for getting started.
I hope you will use this Rube Goldberg Ideas resource guide to make your own Rube Goldberg Machines™! There is just so much learning wrapped up in one of these interesting little machines and they are simply a ton of fun to mess around with. Plus, you get to discover the joy of doing things the hard way LOL.
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