Which Marble Run is Best?
Marble runs are so much fun. They offer great value entertainment for all the family and are the perfect way to introduce science, engineering and problem-solving skills in a fun and thought-provoking way.
Marble runs are a great way to learn about the concepts of friction and gravity, potential energy and drag. Plus they are mesmerising to watch and listen to as the marbles make their way down chutes through tunnels and even round loop the loops before finishing their journey.
Because of the fact they are fun to watch and listen to even very young children will enjoy marble and ball runs. Just make sure they are only watching if you are using a marble run with very young children as marbles are a choking hazard. This means that the best marble run will depend on who you are buying for.
For younger children it’s more about the excitement, the sounds, and watching the marbles whiz through the runs you have created, whereas for older children building the marble run and figuring out where the marbles will go is all part of the fun.
Our pick of the best marble runs for all ages
Marble runs & marble races for 0-3 year olds
While children are still at the age of putting things in their mouths we highly recommend ball runs or the large Grimms balls instead of marbles or choosing a simple marble run that is beautiful and makes a great noise to provide a sensory experience rather than being a toy.
You can get loads of ball runs, and we have a look at some of them in this video. The hammer ones are particularly great for learning cause and effect, and lots of them include opportunities for colour matching.
And if you or your little ones are more into cars the little car runs are a fantastic alternative to marble runs for young children. Again they love watching them, hearing the clickety-clack sounds, and practising their fine motor skills to get the cars rolling from top to bottom.
We particularly love the melody marble run if you are looking for a sensory toy for little ones that they can enjoy with close supervision to make sure they don’t end up swallowing the marbles.
Marble runs for 3 years and up
Once your children get beyond the point of putting things in their mouths, which of course will vary depending on the child, then the real fun can begin.
If you are still a bit worried about them choking on the marbles when you aren’t looking then the giant ball run is a great toy. Very satisfying to watch and listen to whatever age you are, and great for both fine and gross motor skills and introducing some STEM concepts at a young age.
The Small Foot three towers marble run is probably the next level up and great for a wide age range. The towers are ready-built which is different to many wooden marble runs and makes it a bit more stable for younger children. You then add the ramps to join it all together, and as children get older they can do this bit themselves.
Another great feature of this marble run is that it comes with a scoreboard so it becomes a game as well as a marble run and is great for turn-taking and teaching maths to older kids.
Finally the Big Jigs and Small Foot build your own marble runs are like building blocks that you have to figure out how to put together in a way so that the marble can run down the track without getting stuck.
These are actually quite challenging and teach so many skills including patience, cause and effect and problem-solving as the smallest nudge can mean you’ve knocked your track out of alignment. For this reason if you have younger children be prepared to spend lots of time helping them.
RELATED: How Do You Set up a Marble Run?