Playing marble run could never get old no matter how much time evolves. It’s a timeless classic that children everywhere enjoy. This doesn’t make the job of picking a great one very easy, though. Deciding on the best marble run for kids can be really hard, just like purchasing kids toys in general.
Nonetheless, getting your kids a marble run isn’t just about getting them something to keep them happy and distracted. Playing the game helps them to build essential problem-solving skills too. So, because this game impacts so much on the kids, as usual, we are here to offer some help. In this article, you’ll find a review of our favorite marble run toys on the planet. And we also took the liberty to throw in a buying guide to help you decide. Sounds good to you? Then let’s hop on the train and get moving.
Please, note that this article does not come with a review on Jelle marble runs.
|Marble Genius||Learning Resource||Ideal Amaze||Hape Quadrilla||MarbleWorks|
|Age recommendation||4 years up||3 to 12 years||5 years up||4 to 15 years||5 years up|
Table of Contents
- Best 5 Marble Runs for Kids in 2018
- Marble Runs and Their Educational Benefits for Your Kids
- Types of Marble Runs
- Marble Run Safety
- Other People’s Opinions
- And Our Top Pick is…
Best 5 Marble Runs for Kids in 2018
This is a really affordable marble run set, if you are looking for one. It also gives excellent value as there are lots of pieces contained in the set which greatly increases your options. From simple to complex structures, there’s little you can’t do with these marble runs.
In the pack, you’ll find 15 glass marbles, and 85 translucent pieces with interlocking slides, spinning wheels, bridges, and columns. The bases also fit in with each other very easily too.
- Solid, durable pieces.
- Stable and wide bases.
- Structure can be up to 2 meters tall.
- Transparent pieces let you watch the marbles go down.
- A few pieces might not fix in tautly.
This is a really unique set of marble runs in that they come with magnetic pieces. Yep. Cool marble runs, right? Obviously, you won’t have to build with this set, you just stick on your pieces to create your marble track. In the pack, you’ll find a goal, four marbles, 14 magnetic track pieces, and 10 challenging activity cards.
The pieces vary a lot, from the short ones, to the curved one, to the straight ones, to the squiggly ones. With this many variations, kids can stretch their imaginations to come up with numerous possible combinations. But then again, there are those days when the creative juices seem to be running a bit low. And that’s why you’ve got the activity cards. They could spark off some inspiration on demand to get you started. And when it’s finished, it’s just for you to sit and watch the marbles race through down to the goal!
- Unique magnetic design.
- Durable, quality pieces.
- Comes with a track border to keep marbles on course.
- Requires a lot of space to play with.
Normally marble runs are made of plastic, but there are some really cool marble runs that come wooden. A good example is this set from Ideal Amaze. The fact that it is wooden makes it a unique set but it still does not require a different mode of operation than the normal plastic ones. In fact, it comes with channels and holes that slant just enough to make the journey for the marbles seamless.
The pack contains 60 pieces altogether – 10 marbles and 50 wooden pieces. There’s also a manual included just in case your baby needs a hands up at first. Your 5 year old will love playing with these wooden marble runs as he strengthens his grasp on the basic concepts of engineering.
- Pieces are made of wood and so are safe.
- A few issues with quality control.
These Hape marble runs do us one better than the Ideal Amaze ‘N’ Marbles we just looked at. Yes, they are also wooden marble runs but these are like the ultimate upgrade. Guess what? This set comes with 176 pieces! No, we kid you not! As you can see, the possibilities are endless, so don’t relegate this to the kids alone just yet.
The set comes with a great many features like three spiral funnels, straightway rails, with a seesaw too. And to make construction a bit easier, hardwood blocks are differently colored so you can distinguish between their functions. These marble runs are great for your kids because they do not contain toxic chemicals. Plus, they also encourage your child to bend their imagination.
PS: The quadrille marble runs from Hape won an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum award as well as the Spiel Gut – Good Toy – award.
- Inspiration for the overall design of the set comes from the Da Vinci circles.
- Can be played by kids and adults.
- Sturdy, quality pieces.
- Collapses easily.
Discovery Toys already have an untarnished reputation in the toy kingdom. So, if they are Discovery Toys marble runs, you can be sure of one thing – they are going to be totally amazeballs! The set is really darling with its beautiful variation of colors. Plus, they come with 46 pieces which are enough to help spark up creativity and spatial thinking in your munchkins.
All the pieces are of high quality, very durable and, more importantly, free of BPA. So, in essence, your kids will have them for a long time, and they wouldn’t be exposed to harmful chemicals either.
- Sturdy, durable pieces.
- Does not work with most other regular-sized marbles.
Marble Runs and Their Educational Benefits for Your Kids
There are loads of educational benefits your child can get when playing with marble runs. The younger kids, for instance, can learn to recognize and distinguish between colors and shapes. Plus, they also learn hand-eye coordination, motor skills and three-dimensional designs.
Also, many educationists agree that marble runs are about the best means to get your child interested in STEM. In case you didn’t know, that means Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Because they have to plan, and build, and watch the marbles drop, they also get an even better grasp of basic principles of physics. For example, they get to understand the principles of gravity, what causes it, and what the effects are.
Aside STEM, you can get your child started on problem solving skills from a very young age with marble runs. Building a solid structure demands that the pieces be correctly lined up else the maze won’t work and the marbles won’t get through to the bottom. When a child starts getting tasked with projects as this as kids, they grow up to learn to be independent thinkers pretty quickly.
Types of Marble Runs
Marble runs are all the same, in function at least. However they come in different types by way of materials, and number of pieces. The most common types are the plastic marble runs. Plastic marble runs are a common option for many because they cost less. But be sure to look out for ones that do not contain harmful chemicals before you make any purchase. Another common type are the wooden marble runs. These are more expensive and have a bit of a learning curve, but then they are safer than plastic. Less common options are also paper marble runs, and homemade marble runs.
Marble Run Safety
Please follow manufacturer’s recommendations closely and avoid giving marble runs to under-aged children. That is, do not give marble runs to kids less than 3 years old. Marble runs come with small parts that could pose a choking hazard. Hence, only give them to 3 year olds and older, and even at that, ensure that they only work with your supervision.
Other People’s Opinions
The Marble Genius Marble Run Super Set seems to be the most popular marble runs on our reviews today. They are affordable, contain a decent number of pieces to keep everyone entertained and also come with transparent pieces so you can watch the marbles go down.
The Hape Quadrilla Wooden Marble Run Construction and the MarbleWorks Marble Run Starter Set by Discovery Toys are two other very popular options among customers. However, they still aren’t as popular as the Marble Genius because of cost.
The MarbleWorks marble runs are really colorful, even though they are a bit snobbish in that they won’t work with even regular-sized marbles. And the quadrilla marble runs are especially popular because they are wooden. Even though we have another set of wooden marble runs on review, customers seem to prefer this one from Hape because they come with more pieces and more shapes.
And Our Top Pick is…
…The Hape Quadrilla Wooden Marble Run Construction. This set combines the attractive appeal of wooden marble runs with the conventional plastic ones. Plus, it comes with so many pieces, making them a fantastic choice not just for the kids but for family as well. It also helps that Hape has received a number of awards lauding the quality of this wonderful marble runs set.