Marble Runs for toddlers will surely make your kid just to sit quietly on one corner of the carpet and play constructively for hours on end. Well, one way to accomplish that is by gifting him with a marble run—a toddler safe run that will get him into high-gear scientific discovery mode. Toddlers actually can concentrate wonderfully well—if you have something that engages their attention.
I always thought that marble runs were for children a little older, and my oldest two got their first set when they were six and seven. My little girl was just one then, and she was absolutely fascinated. She wasn’t past the swallowing phase, of course, so if she was allowed to join in the fun she needed to be well watched. She would try so hard to fit the little building pieces together—and sometimes she succeeded. Then, either with a little run she had put together herself or one big brother made for her, she would sit for what seemed like long ages, putting the marble in the top, watching it come down, clapping, and putting it back in the top. It never lost its fascination for her.
I can’t recommend a regular marble run for anyone quite that small, because of the swallowing danger, but there’s a wonderful toddler option where the ‘marbles’ are as big as golf balls. Playing with marble runs teaches a toddler hand coordination, engineering principles, principles of motion and the rules of gravity. That’s a whole lot of learning, mixed in with hours and hours of entranced play!
It’s a marble run the youngest toddler can enjoy—but interesting enough to mesmerize even a preschooler. The “castle” is a number of oversized marble run pieces, and can be put together in any number of different ways, giving your toddler room to experiment. The “marbles” are oversized, weighted chime balls—they’ll dingle as they race down the paths, adding an extra element of fun.
As each ball is differently weighted, they won’t go at the same speed—start them together and watch them overtake and bump each other. This feature also helps your toddler get his first handle on Newton’s all-important law of gravity; it shouldn’t take him long to figure out that the heaviest ball is the speedy one.
This is a nice size for your toddler to work with—25 inches tall, assembled. It’s well enough designed that it won’t be an eyesore in your living room, and the color scheme is bright primary colors.
Are there any downsides to this toy? Perhaps that it comes with just three balls. Three balls is perfect for playing with, but when one is lost you’ve only got two, and it becomes all that much less interesting—and when you lose the next you’re down to one. On the positive side, though, these balls are the same size as golf balls, so you can always supplement with those—your toddler might miss the chiming bell, but you may prefer the quieter playing anyway.