Walnut Marble Racers


  • Half walnut shells
  • Marbles
  • Construction paper or scraps of felt
  • Scissors
  • Crayons or markers
  • Glue
  • Small paint brush
  • Cup for paint



Split your walnut shells in half.  This can be easily done by placing a knife on the seam of the walnut and tapping the tip of the knife toward the ground with a wooden spoon or a heavy stick. Clean the nut meat out of the shell.

Using the felt scraps or construction paper, make a head, paws, tail of your little racer. Use the glue to stick the body parts to the flat edge of the walnut, leaving plenty of room in the cavity for a ma

rble to move freely.  Decorate the shell with more paper or felt scraps or markers. 

When your marble racers are done, place it on top of a marble and push it along a flat smooth surface. Using a slanted board will make them race even faster. (Shhhhh!  Do not tell the little ones, but they do not go real fast or real far but I can assure you that they will not care and will enjoy the process anyway!)

  • Young children do well using a paint brush to brush on the glue.  Sometimes the glue bottle is too hard for their hands to squeeze.
  • If you have older children, this is an activity they can lead completely on their own with their younger siblings.

…Just a quick story about the Walnut Marble Racers.  Flashback to the early 1970’s.  I must have been around 4 or 5 and this is a project that my older brothers did with me and my sister while my parents were doing other things.  I believe the idea came from an old 1970’s craft book though I could not tell you which one. We must have made 1000 walnut racers together and we tried them on all different surfaces.  I still remember how the creatures we made became part of our imaginative play and the theme lasted for a very long time.  Enjoy your visit to the 1970”s!!  Good times.

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