I was looking in my big cupboard for something to entertain my favourite two-and-a-half-year-old a couple of weeks ago and I came across the Marble Run. I keep the marble run in a small plastic tub and the marbles are in a click-clack box with a see-through lid. This way it’s easy to get out and pack away and we always have plenty of marbles to play the game. I made a simple marble maze for my little guy and he played with it for over an hour without losing interest at all, and (thankfully) without even thinking about popping a marble into his mouth.
I left the marble maze out for another play session and the very next day I noticed one of the teenagers was playing with the marble maze. I can’t say she was playing quietly because the marbles give you away every time as they clatter along. The little guy came back for more marble-maze-fun, and the next thing I saw was that someone had set up the maze to go down a short flight of wide steps, with the marble bouncing on the carpet at the end and landing in a small box.
Watch this video of one of our marble run set-ups:
For the next couple of weeks the marble run was in use in various different layouts. When it was time to do the vacuuming I carefully shifted the maze across to clean and then, just as carefully, wriggled it back into position.I noticed that everyone from old to young was taking a turn at shooting a few marbles through the maze. Then people made little games and competitions for themselves, like trying to keep a continuous stream of marbles going through the maze without a break. The clatter of marbles was happening throughout the day from morning until late at night. It gave me a feeling of a ‘happy sound’.Eventually I decided to pack the marble run away for a while. No-one was finished with it, but they were playing with it a bit less and I wanted to keep it fresh and interesting for everyone.I will keep the marble run in the cupboard for a month or two before I get it out again, but it’s the sort of game that lasts for years and years. We have had our marble maze of many years, and it certainly suited us all from tiny tot to the oldest in the family. It’s a cracker of a game!
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Article written by Stephanie Walmsley.
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