Best marble runs
Sometimes I am browsing online, and I wonder at how many toys are available for children these days. I know it may be wrong to say the ‘when I was a kid phrase,’ but I cannot help it. The market is full of all kinds of toys meant to entertain the young ones. In essence, that is a good thing because children are supposed to be smarter in this day and age, and they quickly get bored. At the same time, the invention of STEM toys is one of the best things that ever happened to child development. One of those toys is a marble run.
What are STEM toys and what is a marble run?
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. The STEM toys are meant to develop children’s cognitive abilities. The toys manufacturers thought that it is a good idea to appeal to children from a young age. Scientists agree, and they say that STEM toys such as marble run can help a child develop into a more intelligent human being. I am all for that, and I choose a STEM toy any day over a tablet or computer. Plus, the manufacturer designed the toys to be fun, so there is no talk about losing any parts of childhood. Many of the time, the child does not even know he or she is learning something, so it is all for good fun.
A marble run is one of those STEM toys. The child needs to create a pathway for the marbles to go from point A to point B without stopping and without intervention. It is a brilliant game, and depending on the complexity, it can keep a child busy for hours.
The benefits of buying a marble run for your child
The fact that a marble run is a STEM toy should suffice and convince you to buy one for your child. After all, we are talking about a good start in life. However, to better understand what impact a marble run has on your child, take a quick look at its benefits.
- It develops your child’s critical thinking – marble runs cannot be used by kids that are too small because there are marbles involved, but by the time they reach the appropriate age, they somehow overcome the puzzle age. They start using logic to get ahead, and a marble run can help develop that. The toy comes in multiple complexities, so you can up your game, but not too much that it becomes too complicated.
- It develops creativity – a marble run can be designed in several ways, and your kid can test several designs to see which one works better. Not only that this action enhances the problem-solving skills, but it also develops creativity. Plus, think of all the confidence your kids will be gaining when he or she will see that the plan worked.
- Your kid will not get bored – boredom is a significant issue with kids, but a marble run will keep him occupied. Not only their physical part but also the brain. Sometimes, children spend hours with such a game, and they are having fun at the same time.
- Your child can learn how to innovate – the booklet that arrives with the marble run will give indications on how to position the pieces for the system to function. However, your child is free to find his or her own path, and that can stir another interest in your kid. That is an excellent skill to learn.
- It teaches patience – we all know how children are. They are not very patient, and that may frustrate the both of you. However, with marble run, the kid does not have a choice. He or she needs to be patient to finish the marble run. And since the fun part is right at the end, the situation compel the child to wait. It will not happen right away, but Rome was not built in a day, was it? You need to be patient as well. Furthermore, it is a known fact that children who learn patient at a young age can follow instructions better, which is again a significant plus.
How to choose the best marble run
There are many marble runs on the market, and picking just one may prove to be a challenge. That is because you may feel confused as to which one is best for your child. However, my thought is that as long as you read the specification and you follow a few simple criteria, you should be able to make the right decision. Here is what you need to consider when buying a marble run.
- Components – marble runs have many parts in the set, and you need to decide how many pieces you want or how many your child can handle. This part is a bit tricky because few pieces can lead to boredom, while too many can have your child frustrated, and that makes the game no longer fun. However, you can read online to see what other parents bought just to get an idea. Plus, the specifications usually mention this aspect.
- Safety – marble runs should never be played with by children under 4 years old. That is because the pieces are a choking hazard. I assume that I do not have to tell you this, but I thought to mention it nonetheless. Even if your child is 4 years of age, you should never let him or her play with the marble run unsupervised.
- Design – when it comes to design, you need to make sure that it is not too complicated and the pieces come together smoothly. Otherwise, the marbles get stuck for no fault of your own or your kid’s. Read some reviews to figure this out.
- Construction – this aspect is yet another thing to concern yourself with. My recommendation is that you go for an open-ended marble run? Why? Because as your child plays with it, at some point, he or she will want to create his or her own design. You should encourage that as best you can, but the game needs to open-ended. Otherwise, your child will be limited to the possibilities of the game itself.
- Age – last but not least, not all marble runs are meant for the same age group. This has something to do with the complexity of the game. While some marble runs are suitable for children who are 4 years old and up, others are only suitable for children aged 12 and up. Needless to say, a 12-year old will get bored with a set meant for the other age category, and a 4-year old will get stuck with a marble run designed for 12-year olds.
What are the best marble runs?
As I previously stated, there are plenty of marble runs out there, and choosing one may prove to be a difficult task. However, as long as you follow the criteria above, you should be able to go through with it. At the same time, reading some marble runs reviews online could not hurt. Other parents can share their experiences with the products they bought, and you can learn from them. In the meantime, check out the marble runs I found.
Marble Genius Marble Run Super Set
One of my favorite marble runs is the one designed and manufactured by Marble Genius. It is a superset because it comes with 100 complete pieces. That surely guarantees hours of fun for you and your child. This set is designed for children aged 4 and more, but you should never leave your child unsupervised. Plus, you will have some fun as well.
The Marble Genius set includes 85 complete translucent pieces, and it can be played with in 19 distinct styles. The solid pieces stick together perfectly, and they are easy to put together. Your child should have no issues with that. The game includes 8 solid bases including 3 bases that are designed to ensure stability.
To play with the Marble Genius set, you can download the free app that includes the step-by-step guides. You can also find several challenges, and the content is regularly updated. The set contains 15 glass marbles, so make sure that they are all accounted for after you finish playing with the marble game. The fact that most pieces are transparent will bring joy to your kid because he or she will be able to see the marbles run through the tubes all the way down. I am sure you will have a lot of fun with it.
Meland Marble Run
The marble run from Meland is another set that I think you will be interested in. It is meant for children of ages 4 and up as well, but this time, the game has 122 pieces. You can help your child built various tracks for the marbles to go in any direction, plus, the tracks come with centrifugal funnels, which adds to the fun. It also has U-turns, windmills, straight slides, and even gradient slides. I am sure your child will have a lot of fun with it.
The Meland marble run can provide hours of fun for your kids. The game comes with an assembly manual, but the child needs to put it all together. That can help him or her develop hand-eye coordination, logical thinking, creativity, color and shape recognition, spatial imagination, and more.
The game is made of solid ABS plastic, but it is not toxic, and it cannot be easily broken or snapped. The smooth edges of all pieces prevent scratching, and they all fit together perfectly. The base is reliable and stable so that the marble run does not fall over. It is 70 cm high, so that can happen if the base is not well installed. Even so, you will be around so you can make sure of that.
Barbariol Marble Run
The last marble run on my list is the one produced by Barbariol. It is another high-quality marble run that can keep your child occupied for hours. The set contains only 50 pieces and 30 glass marbles. The parts are see-through so that your kid can see the marbles moving through the tracks.
One of the best things about this marble run is that there is no fixed assembly. That is why the recommended age of the child for this set is 12 and up. After all, for the model to work, your kid needs to assemble the run using only his or her own mind, which is far too complicated for a 4-year old. It is an open-ended marble run that will develop your kid’s mind. It is an excellent exercise for the brain.
The pieces of the Barbariol marble run are made of high-quality plastic, and they all come in vibrant colors. Since there is no fixed assembly, your child will have an occupation for a very long time, and you will have some fun as well. After all, that is why games are made.
I believe that all three models are more than satisfactory and will meet their purpose. However, my personal favorite is the Barbariol Marble Run. It may have fewer pieces than the other two games, but the fact that it is an open-ended marble run makes it one of the best marble runs I could find. Opinions differ, however, and you can choose whichever you think is better.
I know that it may seem like a lot of pressure for a simple game, but a marble run can actually train your child’s brain. It is always a good idea to invest in such toys because they combine fun with learning, and that is the best way for your kid to stay occupied. One of the marble runs above will achieve that eventually, and you will have a smarter kid because of it. Click here to buy on Amazon
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