A Buying Guide to Find the Best Marble Runs for Kids in 2017

Nowadays, there are so many different kinds of toys available in the market that it can be confusing to choose one for your child. However, if there is one that can be considered as a classic, that would be a marble run. It is the type of toy that children will not get tired of playing with, no matter what age they are.

A marble run is not just enjoyable for kids, but it is also a great toy for developing problem-solving skills. After all, the kids themselves have to put the piece together before they can play with it. They must learn how to build the structure by matching the holes and the runs in a way that the marbles will not get stuck.

That is why, if you are looking for a toy that you can give as a gift, you should buy your child a marble run. There are several brands and models, but below are 10 of the best that you might want to consider.

My Favorite Marble Run Models for Kids

1. Marble Genius Marble Run Super Set

Recommended for children at least 4 years old

This marble run set is one of the best in the market because of its great features. Aside from its affordability, the Marble Run Super Set gives you great value for your money, as it offers countless possibilities for assembly. Kids and adults alike will have a fantastic time putting together pieces for a simple structure, or a more complex one.

The set packs 85 translucent pieces and 15 glass marbles. The interlocking pieces include columns, slides, bridges, spinning wheels, and bases that easily fit together. With this set, you and your child can enjoy hours of fun and intellectual challenge.

What's Great About It: The pieces are solid and sturdy, and the bases are stable and wide. You can build ramps, towers, and other structures that you have in mind up to 2 meters tall. Because the pieces are translucent, you and your child can watch as the marbles make their way down to the bottom of your creation.

2. MindWare Marble Run

Recommended for ages 4 to 12 years old

Mindware markets itself as a company making brainy toys for kids, and its Marble Run is no exception. This set consists of 103 pieces, including two whirly connectors, a marble launcher and landing piece, centrifugal spinner, two S-shaped connectors, and 20 marbles.

The pieces are multicolored, so kids, even the younger ones, will definitely have a fun time building up whirling and spinning paths of different heights. The pieces also come in a combination of colorful, opaque pieces and clear ones for extra fun. However, since not all pieces are translucent, building it too high may prevent your child from seeing the marbles in action.

What's Great About It: The plastic pieces are very durable and do not break easily. They also interlock firmly, so your child can build a more sturdy structure.

3. Marble Genius Marble Run Starter Set

Recommended for children at least 4 years old

With 60 translucent pieces and 10 glass marbles, your child will definitely have an exciting time trying to build simple to complex structures. It is a perfect set to introduce marble runs to your child, as it allows ease of use, even for the younger kids. It is less complicated than the Super Set of Marble Genius because it has fewer pieces, so it might be more manageable for beginners.

With stackable tubes, chutes, merry-go-rounds, and sturdy bases, your child will spend hours building the run and watching the marbles traverse their way down to the bottom.

What's Great About It: Even with fewer pieces, the Marble Run Starter Set still allows your child to discover unlimited possibilities in designing a marble run and letting his creativity flow. It makes your child gradually appreciate and understand scientific concepts and hone his problem-solving skills, until he is ready for more complicated and bigger sets.

​4. Toto Marbulous Translucent Marble Run

Recommended for children at least 4 years old

This might be a good choice for parents who want to introduce marble runs to their kids, but are still unsure whether their kids will appreciate them. The Marbulous Translucent Marble Run is a starter set consisting of 48 transparent pieces and 16 marbles, so it may just be the perfect introductory set for your child.

The pieces are easy to assemble, and they hold up pretty well, too. Even with lesser pieces, it can still stimulate your child’s creativity by allowing her to build impressive structures and make the marbles roll down with ease using the correct angles of inclination.

What's Great About It: The translucent pieces allow your child to watch in amazement as the marbles go down the tracks that she built herself. Once your child has started to appreciate this starter set, you can simply expand the set to enhance her creativity.

​5. MMP Living Marble Madness Starter Set

Recommended for children at least 4 years old

This is another introductory set that is best for children who are not into marble runs yet. It might be a good choice for parents as well, as it does not have very many pieces, so it is more affordable than bigger sets. But, even if it only consists of 54 pieces of tracks and 16 glass marbles, there are still so many designs that can be made with it.

The pieces, which are made of high-quality plastic, come in fun and vibrant primary colors that kids will surely love. Your child can watch the glass marbles glide quickly through the structure because the plastic pieces are dense and smooth, so the marbles will not be stuck up.

What's Great About It: This fascinating construction set will keep your child occupied for hours because it will challenge your child’s creativity in coming up with unique configurations. Aside from fun and creativity, it also integrates the concepts of construction and design, which is why it is great for kids, and even adults.

​6. Tevelo Marble Run Coaster

Recommended for children at least 3 years old

The Marble Run Coaster is another great set because it allows for creative play and combines basic learning skills with coordination and organizational skills. Even children as young as 3 years old can enjoy hours of fun building different structures. However, it should be noted that adult supervision is required if your  3-year-old plays with it, since marbles are still a choking hazard.

It consists of 75 pieces of various shapes and 30 race marbles. Unlike other sets with glass marbles, Tevelo chose to make theirs with plastic because they believe that plastic is safer, as glass marbles tend to break. When they break, there is the risk of glass fragments causing injury to kids. Plastic marbles also run slower, so kids can watch them better.

What's Great About It: The colorful curves, ramps, and chutes, plus the marbles, stimulate creativity and reasoning. Kids can develop their fine motor and problem-solving skills, even at an early age. Adults can also have some quality and fun time with their kids setting up an exciting marble coaster race with multiple marble entry points.

7. Learning Resources Tumble Trax Magnetic Marble Run

Recommended for ages 3 to 12 years old

This is one marble run set that is unique and very different from the previous sets because the pieces are magnetic. Instead of the usual building, you and your child can create a marble track using the magnetic foam pieces that come in different lengths and sizes. It comes with 14 magnetic track pieces, a goal, four marbles, and 10 challenging activity cards.

The variety of long, short, squiggly, straight, and curved pieces allows kids to create limitless combinations of designs on magnetic surfaces, such as a refrigerator or a whiteboard. You will be amazed with how the kids build the tracks using their developing critical thinking skills. They can also use the activity cards included in the package in case they need to get some inspiration to get the ball rolling.

Once the track is built, there will be more fun as the marble is dropped onto the highest point and you and your child watch it roll, drop, and accelerate until it lands on the goal.

What's Great About It: This is an exceptional marble run set that can encourage your child’s development of fine motor skills, critical thinking, and an early understanding and appreciation of physics. The pieces also have a quality design and materials that can last for years. It also features a transparent track border so your child can keep the marbles on course.

​8. Ideal Amaze ‘N’ Marbles 60 Piece Classic Wood Construction Set

Recommended for children at least 5 years old

While most marble run sets are made of plastic, this one by Ideal is made of natural wood, and that, in itself, makes it unique. Although it basically works like other marble runs, what makes it great is that the wooden pieces have slanting holes and channels that the marbles can easily travel through.

The set includes 50 wooden pieces and 10 marbles for hours of building and exploring. It also includes a basic builder manual in case your child needs a little help building up his first structure. One thing is for sure, once your child gets started, you will be amazed at how he can explore the basic principles of art, engineering, and architecture as early as 5 years old.

What's Great About It: Toys made of wood are safer and more durable, so you can be sure that you will get your money’s worth. Although Amaze ‘N’ Marbles only has a total of 60 pieces, your child can build many different designs and endless maze combinations.

​9. Galt Toys Super Marble Run Toy

Recommended for ages 4 to 8 years old

This marble run set will provide hours of fun not just for kids, but for the whole family too. It consists of 60 pieces that can be used to build mazes of different designs where the marbles can take twists and turns before it drops to the bottom of the structure.

The 60-piece set includes nine chutes, nine curves, 24 tubes, six bases, a staircase, a rotary drop, a spinning wheel, a roundabout, and eight marbles.

What's Great About It: The good thing about the Super Marble Run Toy is that the manufacturer ensures that all of its toys are quality-controlled and meet the safety standards. Therefore, you can be assured that your kids can safely play with it. Just a reminder, marbles are a choking hazard, so this should not be played with by kids younger than 4 years old.

​10. Hape Quadrilla Wooden Marble Run Construction

Recommended for ages 4 to 15 years old

This marble run set is like an upgraded version of the Amaze ‘N’ Marbles, as it is also made of natural wooden pieces, but includes more, as it comes with 176 pieces. It is recommended for both kids and adults, as there are endless possibilities with this set.

The set includes straightaway rails, three spiral funnels, and a seesaw. The pieces feature a non-toxic finish, and the hardwood blocks are color-coded to distinguish the different functions of each.

It can develop the logic and spatial reasoning abilities of your child, so toys of this type should definitely be encouraged. It includes a manual that can be used as reference, but your child can also build runways just by using his creativity and engineering skills.

What's Great About It: The overall design of this toy was inspired by the Da Vinci circles, and it encourages creativity of the users. It also received the “Spiel Gut” (Good Toy) Award and is an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award Winner.

What are the Educational Benefits of Marble Run?

Playing with a marble run set can have a lot of educational benefits for kids. For younger kids, this toy can teach colors and shape recognition, while also allowing them to explore three-dimensional designs. It also helps kids improve their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

At a very young age, your child can develop an interest in science and technology, as well as engineering. Your child can also have a better understanding of physics, gravity, and cause and effect. When it comes to problem-solving, your child will be trained early, as he needs to line up pieces correctly for the maze to work and for the marbles to run all the way to the bottom of the structure.

Conclusion

There are a lot of great marble run sets that you can buy for your child, and even your whole family, to enjoy. Your choice can depend on the material used and the number of pieces included in the set, whether you want an introductory set consisting of 60 pieces or below, or a more advanced set with more than 100 pieces. No matter what you choose, it will definitely be a fun and educational activity that your child can enjoy with you and other members of the family.

    Sandra Cobain
     

    Sandra is the head of content for BestForTheKids. When she’s not busy crafting posts & researching about compelling content ideas, she can be spotted playing outdoors with her two adorable children.

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