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Marble Run

Updated on April 13, 2014

What can children learn from Marble Run?

I first discovered Marble Run when my children were young. They loved putting together the sections of tubes and ramps together to make paths for the marbles to run. The children spent hours trying out different configurations of height and length. At first they would make the marble run extend out from a main column only to find that with no support they would have to add more sections to hold the marble run up.

The process involved in experimenting with the Marble Run may be the most valuable experience children get from playing with marble works. Each time they try another configuration the kids are honing their skills in patience, experimentation, and inquisitiveness. Can a child of 5 or 6 begin to learn the principles of physics? Yes, they can!

Come roll construct runs and drops to create a marble run. Try it out and keep on experimenting. Come play with the marbles...

Photo Credit: Haba Ball Track Construction Set

Available from Amazon

Language Arts

Marble Run - Marble Rounding the Corner

Marble Run
Marble Run

Photo Credit: Marble Run

Used under creative commons

What can we learn from Marbles? - The Physics of Marble Runs!

A marble run can teach the physics of the way that water flows downhill.

Tell the kids they are going to experiment with the way that water flows. Tell them that the marbles will represent water and the marble run will represent the rivers and streams flowing across the landscape. Ask them to construct a place for water to flow. Can they make the water flow in any direction they choose? Will they be able to make the water go up? Ask for predictions and then be sure to take lots of pictures.

Once the children are ready for demonstrations, ask the children what they have learned from their marble runs. Did they discover that water flows downhill?

Marbles,Roller Skates,Doorknob (Gateway)
Marbles,Roller Skates,Doorknob (Gateway)

Product Description

Explains how simple machines that are actually wheels work, including the pizza cutter, bicycle, and water faucet.

 

Classic Marble Run - High Quality Marble Run

My children loved their Galt Marble Run. It is made of high quality, thick plastic that is difficult to break. The pieces of the Galt Marble Run stay together easily. The pieces of this marble run are large enough for average sized marbles. The Galt Marble Run might seem to be more expensive than other brands but you will not regret your decision to choose quality over quantity.

Build the marble run high. Build the marble run long. Add as many marbles as you like. This is by far the best marble works available.

Marble Run on the Stairs - Engineering a Marble Run

Marble Run on the Stairs
Marble Run on the Stairs

Photo Credit: Marble Run

Children can learn about engineering when building a marble run. Have you ever tried building one on the stairs?

You will need to measure the heights of the risers in order to get the Marble Run to set steadily on each of the stair treads.

What a thrill it is when it is all set up and the first marble makes it all the way down...

Marble Run Math

Marble Run Science

Inespensive Marble Run - Flimsy Marble Run

Quercetti Super Marble Run Vortis, 224 PiecesI just picked up this version of a marble run at a local thrift store. Included in the mix was another marble run were some Galt pieces. It wasn't until the children and I began to putting the pieces together that we realized that there were two different sets put together.

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The children in the summer program range from 5 to 12 years old and all of them are very interested in the marble works. The children experiment with different configurations to see which interesting ways the marbles can follow the tracks, slopes, drops and water wheels to descend down to the bottom of the run.

The first next thing we noticed was that the Galt Marble Run was big enough for any marbles to work, but the Quercetti Marble Run only worked with very small marbles.

Quercetti Super Marble Run - Italian Made - 213 Pieces - for Ages 8 and Up
Quercetti Super Marble Run - Italian Made - 213 Pieces - for Ages 8 and Up

The Quercetti Marble Run has lots of interesting and unique pieces.This marble run is inexpensive and might work well with children who are very, very careful of their toys. The Quercetti Marble Run, however, is delicate, small and flimsy.

 

Learn Science with Marbles - The Science of Marbles

As you play each of the marble games in this book, look for ways that you are learning about science. Certainly you can use the scientific method to determine which ways you manipulate the marbles serve best for each game. By experimenting and changing one aspect of the game at a time, can you improve your abilities or chances to win?

A hands-on way to experiment with the physics of marbles:

Marbles: 101 Ways to Play
Marbles: 101 Ways to Play

An amazing number of games can be played with marbles. This book explains a bit of history about marbles and then quickly begins to explain how to play over one hundred different games that can be played with marbles.

 

Marble Run Social Studies

Marble Run Art

Marble Run Design - Wood Marble Run

Wooden Marble Run
Wooden Marble Run

Photo Credit: Marble Run

on Flickr, Creative Commons

Wood Marble Run - Wooden Marble Run

Make a medieval village from blocks and then add Roman Aqueducts using Haba Marble Run blocks and marbles. How could the aqueducts bring drinking water to the village? How could the flow of the water help to carry the waste away from the village? Use the marbles to represent the water. Use black marbles to represent waste.

Where would be the best place to build a Medieval village, on top of a mountain or near a stream? If the village was built on a hill, how could they obtain water? How could a marble run be used to show water flow?

HABA Ball Track Large Basic Set - 42 Piece Wooden Marble Run for Beginner to Expert Architects Ages 3 to 10 (Made in Germany)
HABA Ball Track Large Basic Set - 42 Piece Wooden Marble Run for Beginner to Expert Architects Ages 3 to 10 (Made in Germany)

Extend your child's block building activities by adding a Haba marble run. Build a castle out of blocks and then add the aqueducts that bring water to the castle. Use the marble works to see how water could be transported over hills and down into the lower hills where the castle is built. The marbles represent the water traveling downhill.

 

WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD

Marble Run contains marbles. Not for children under 3 yrs.

Marbles are Fun and Educational

Come write about your experiences learning and teaching with marbles on Wizzley and Zujava, a fun and easy place to express your opinion:

Look for a marble run that is constructed well. Poorly constructed marble runs break easily and require small balls.

Marble Run Guestbook Comments - Rave about your Marble Run!

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      anitabreeze 4 years ago

      Very cool, I think my grandkids would love this!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Now this looks like a fun way to play with marbles and learn at the same time.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I always loved marbles so I think a Marble Run is a great idea and love your ideas for incorporating marbles into a learning tool.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      these are all great! enjoyed reading and seeing the creative mind at work!

    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 5 years ago from Idaho

      These are great, I have some steel marbles that would work great for this is anyone is needing some! Blessed!

    • ftuley lm profile image

      ftuley lm 6 years ago

      Enjoyed reading it! My son would love this.

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 6 years ago

      We have a marble run! Great fun and hands-on learning too!