I often find myself looking for creative gift ideas for the babies and kids that I know. I tend to lean towards more wooden gifts as well as those that spark some creativity. That’s why I’ve found that a great gift can be found by choosing one of the best wooden marble runs below.
With a focus on STEM (or STEAM) based curriculum and toys, a wooden marble run is a great choice. Today’s post will review the best wooden marble runs on the market today. We focus on the wooden versions due to the fact that they
Why choose a Wooden Marble Run?
Wooden marble runs offer some great developmental options for kids. You may look at them and just think it’s no different than just your building block set. While they do share some of the same benefits, you’ll find that having a marble run can help boost your kid’s creativity. Here are some great reasons why to choose a wooden marble run over some other gift choices.
Wooden toys are built to last. You can bank on them not breaking easily. Because plastic tends to degrade over time, a wooden toy will last for years and be more likely to last for years, possibly generations.
Open Ended Play
Because they are open ended, marble runs allow for endless creativity. The run you set up today will be different than the marble run you set up tomorrow. In today’s age where toys typically have one purpose or one path of play, an open ended toy will get you more mileage from your purchase.
Fine Motor Skills Building
Stacking the blocks of a wooden marble run allows kids to work on their fine motor skills. They’ll be moving the blocks around to ensure the marbles run through perfectly and small precise movements are needed. While small kids may have some issues, bigger kids will be able to hone their fine motor skills.
The whole idea behind a marble run is to put together a track so that when you drop the marble it runs from the top to the bottom of the track. Creating elaborate runs takes some planning and problem solving. This type of play is the perfect foundation for problem solving is a great lesson in cause and effect. If you’re looking to foster engineering type skills in your little ones this is a great STEM toy option.
Best Wooden Marble Run Options in 2017
The Quadrilla Vertigo Wooden Marble Run comes with three spiral runs, tracks, blocks, and lots of marbles for endless configurations and fun. Each colored block has a different purpose. There are a total of 134 pieces. There are three spirals and other great features that keep the ball spinning and moving. This is a great gift option for those who want to work on their child’s spacial development.
Recommended Age: 4 and aboveCheck Price on Amazon.com
The Wooden Ramps set is a visually pleasing set featuring different stained block. If you order this option you’ll get a total of 60 pieces and 10 marbles. You’ll also receive a builders manual which will assist in creating your first marble runs. Customers has commented on the high quality of the set and the hours of fun that it has brought their children.
Recommended Age: 3 and aboveCheck Price on Amazon.com
This HABA set is one of the larger sets offered by the reputable German company. It set comes with 42 pieces and 6 glass marbles. The blocks are a great size for smaller fingers making adjustments much easier. Customer reviews state that these pieces are a little less fickle than the HAPE Quadrilla sets. Check out the below video for great ideas on how to use the HABA set.
Recommended Age: 3 to 10Check Price on Amazon.com
The HearthSong marble run offers 45 shaped blocks and 10 marbles. Unlike some of the other options these blocks are colorfully patterned and therefore extra engaging for kids. The recommended age for this set is 4 years and older. Because the pieces are painted, many have noticed they slide around and fall when putting marbles down the run. You may want to integrate these pieces with some other sets if you encounter the same issue.Check Price on Amazon.com
These options are great for budding engineers and if you’re looking for a great STEM gift a wooden marble run is a great option.
Image from flickr, by Henry Burrows, modified