Marble Run

We absolutely love marble runs here at Raising Sparks.  In fact the adults enjoy playing with them just as much as children do.  They are great construction toys that aid child development in many ways.  They stimulate creativity and problem solving.  They teach sequential and organizational skills and promote logical intelligence developing those areas of the brain needed for working on maths and engineering problems.   Fine motor skills and gross motor skills are challenged and refined by marble runs.  They are great for group play and facilitate social skills, team work and cooperation.

Marble runs offer great play value as they stretch and challenge children.  You will find the appeal of marble runs lasts over many years as they hold the interest of the child, who can set their own challenges to meet their stage of development.

While we don’t ever like to put a damper on Little Sparks here, we do feel that marble runs are most appropriate for children aged 5+ and even then adult support may be required.  Marbles not only represent a choking hazard to the under-threes, but younger children may struggle to build the runs resulting in frustration.  However we have included in this review a simple toddler version so that Little Sparks don’t have to miss out entirely!

Quercetti Marble Run

amazon quercetti marble run 150x150 Quercetti is possibly one of the most popular makes of marble run.  Sets come in differing sizes and some sets feature motorized elevators and sky rails.  Sets are compatible so can be bought as add-ons to create ever more amazing configurations.  We have a Quercetti marble run and have found it to be both fun and durable. (An awful lot of Little Sparks have played with it over the years!)  The biggest drawback is that tall structures lack stability, although our Little Sparks have figured out the value of using cross-braces!

Marbulous Transparent Marble Run

amazon marble run transparent 150x150 We felt this was the most suitable marble run for children at the younger end of the age range.  Easy for little hands to construct and sturdier than the Quercetti.  The transparent tubes have the added bonus of allowing children to follow every moment of their marble’s progress.  Lack of add-on sets with extra features may make this less appealing to the older age range who will want to create more complex configurations.

Tedco Wooden Marble Run And Block

amazon woodenmarblerun standard set 150x150 Wooden toys never lose their appeal. Children find them pleasing to handle and they boast great visual appeal.  These wooden marble runs come in sets of varying size with handy storage bags.  We would suggest, in order to avoid disappointment, that you buy the largest set available initially and then buy add-ons if it proves to be a hit. (We think it will by the way!)

Edushape Rollipop – For Toddlers

amazon marblerun edushape babies 150x150 This was a winner of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, Best Toy Award.  Based on the marble run idea, but designed with large, light-weight balls and safety very much in mind for the under threes.  This will enhance logic, tracking skills, motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

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