Rube Goldberg® Miracle Machines

Rube Goldberg® Miracle Machines

Featuring levers, pulleys, slides, and switches for kids to manipulate, Rube Goldberg Miracle Machines add a touch of whimsy to any playground. These elaborate play panels are designed to thrill and engage the senses for everyone ages 2 and up (CSA 18months+), helping to develop cognitive and fine motor skills as well as provide insights into cause- and-effect relationships.


To make this series of mechanical chain reaction play panels, Miracle® Recreation collaborated with The Rube Goldberg® Institute for Innovation & Creativity, a family-run, nonprofit organization that uses the legacy of its namesake to promote equity and access in STEM and STEAM education. A Rube Goldberg Machine® is a delightfully over-complicated contraption that completes a simple task in the silliest way possible.


Rube Goldberg was a Pulitzer-prize winning cartoonist whose depiction of hilariously impractical machines inspires artists, educators, advertisers, and influencers. By partnering with the Rube Goldberg® Institute, Miracle Recreation brings authenticity and delight into recreational play by asking kids to solve three simple tasks: make a cup of tea, feed a cat, and score a goal.

Curiosity Thrilled the Cat

…and the kids! Feed Cat her favorite treat by guiding the ball through dominoes, across a banana, and more! Decide whether to give it an extra fishy flavor, or take a shortcut and feed it to Cat as-is. With a myriad of amusing paths to choose from, kids can discuss their next course of action, take turns making decisions, or tackle it in a free-for-all style.

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My Cup of Tea

Who knew making tea could get so complicated?! To get started, turn one of the two wheels (high and low options for better accessibility). Then use the pencil to guide it either through the plinking obstacles, or flick it down a series of ramps using a boot, fish, and more. Didn’t get your favorite flavor? Spin the teacup to release the ball and make another!

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It’s the match-making point! Turn the wheel to get the ball rolling, then guide it to the net using a variety of gears, loops—even a bucket! Joyful sounds cheer on users as they make fast-paced decisions to help their team to victory. With a slanted design, kids of varying heights and ability can collaborate on this high-stakes play panel.

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About The Rube Goldberg® Institute For Innovation & Creativity

The Rube Goldberg Institute stands as a “museum without walls,” offering experiences designed for the 21st century that span the virtual and physical and introduce people to the rewards of engaging in the arts and sciences. Rube Goldberg’s legacy reminds us of the crucial importance of informed observation, creative thinking, artistic response, problem-solving, curiosity, and inventiveness. The Institute was founded by Rube’s son, George W. George, in 1988, and today is run by Rube’s granddaughter, Jennifer George. The Institute proudly works with educators, organizations, and commercial brands to present the world and work of Rube Goldberg around the world. For more information, go to

About Rube Goldberg®

As a cultural icon of the 20th century, Rube Goldberg (1883–1970), Pulitzer Prize-winning American cartoonist and innovator, continues to inspire audiences with his inventive genius. Of the estimated 50,000 cartoons he drew in his lifetime, Goldberg is best known for those that depict “Rube Goldberg Machines” — the chain-reaction contraptions, typically made from everyday objects, that solve a simple task in the most overly complicated, humorous, and inefficient way possible. In their funny functionality, Goldberg’s inventions invite all of us to think more deeply about machines and mechanized processes, gadgets and technologies, and the very human ways in which we use them.

GOOD DESIGN® Award Recipient

The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and Metropolitan Arts Press Ltd. present the Museum’s GOOD DESIGN® Awards Program for the most innovative and cutting-edge industrial, product, and graphic designs produced around the world.

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