What Is a Marble Run?

A marble run or ball run is a structure in which marbles can be rolled down.

A marble run can be made from lots of different materials and different levels of complexity. So you can get simple marble races or ball runs that toddlers can play with, or a really complex engineering project of marble tracks for a fun marble run that will challenge parents and teenagers.

And while there are many styles of marble run you can buy, building marble tracks is also a great activity you can do at home using household items and items from the recycling bin.

Children have played with marbles and marble run for generations and we can see no reason why they won’t be played with for generations to come.

How to marble runs work?

A marble run mesmerizing to watch, a challenge to build, and a great way to experience science in action. They show how friction (the force that slows things down when they are rubbing against each other) and gravity both have an effect on the marbles as they travel the course, and they often require lots of problem-solving to make sure your marble makes it to the end of the run.

In order for a marble run to work, and your marbles to make it to the end of the marble race, you have to have a clear track with no blockages and you have to allow your marbles to build up enough speed that the friction of the track doesn’t make it stop before it reaches the finish line.

Making your own marble run

A good wooden marble run is certainly a worthwhile investment. Even babies and young toddlers love watching and listening to the marbles as they travel their path to the ground. And this is a toy that lasts for years and makes a great rainy day activity for older children and even grown-ups.

However if you don’t have a marble run that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun. You can make a marble run from pretty much anything. Wood, pool noodles, toilet roll and kitchen roll tubes, drinks cartons, cereal boxes and anything else you have lying around make for great marble tracks.

And you can even get competitive with a marble run. See who can build the longest marble run or who can keep a marble running for the longest amount of time, it’s actually quite tricky to get a marble moving as slowly as possible without stopping.


RELATED: What Age Is a Marble Run For?

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