cardboard tubes + box = hours of fun! We pieced together TP and paper towel tubes. Used marbles. The kiddo loved it and even still pulls it out to roll the marbles into a dump truck. He wont' let me toss any cardboard tubes now.
Diy Cardboard Slide ~When I was a kid, we did this! ***One improvement: make the cardboard about a foot narrower than the stair width, so that there is space for the kids to climb up on the stairs rather than the cardboard slide.