10 Best Marble Runs for Kids in 2017

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One of the most fascinating gifts you can ever give to your kid, whether it is for Christmas or his or her birthday, is a marble run. There’s just so much joy just watching these marvelous pieces of toys that your child will first have to construct before he or she can begin to really enjoy it. And while you can easily pick out the best for your child from several hundreds of brands and models, we’ve shortened the list for you. You can bet there’s one in our 10 best marble runs for kids that is designed specifically for your child.

10 Best Marble Runs For Kids

Marble Run Super Set by Marble Genius (Our Top Pick)

marble-run-super-set

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Age Range: At least 4 years old

One of the most trusted names when it comes to marble runs is Marble Genius. And it really is not so difficult to understand why hundreds of very satisfied customers all around the globe consider the Marble Run Super Set to be one of the best if not the best when it comes to these types of toys or playthings. Each piece of the play set is beautifully constructed and designed like some marvelous jigsaw puzzle that your child will have to build. The added bonus is that, unlike jigsaw puzzles, this type of toy is more like a Lego construction and building play set as it can be configured in so many different ways. This allows children not only to have fun but also help them enhance a variety of their developmental skills.

The Super Set comes with 85 translucent pieces to allow your kids to get a really good look at how the whole thing works. It’s got very sturdy and durable support bases that are guaranteed to keep the whole structure standing tall and not wobbly on its feet. Certainly, you wouldn’t want your child to build this towering play thing only to see it collapse as soon as he or she drops the miniature glass ball. The plastic pieces are made of kid-safe materials and each one locks into place so that your child will have endless fun trying to come up with the most absurd combinations or configurations. As easy as it is to lock, disassembling it is also a breeze.

What We Like about It – There are many reasons why such a play set is adored not only by kids but by adults as well. For us, it’s the sheer number of configurations that needs to be explored. For kids, it’s the challenge of building something they can enjoy later on that is really fascinating.

Marble Run by MindWare

Marble Run

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Age Range: At least 4 years old

The MindWare Marble Run has a slightly different approach to enjoying one of the most fun activities you can have as a family. Instead of having the 103 pieces of the play set constructed of translucent materials, MindWare chose to go opaque or in solid colors. With each twist and turn across the different chutes, merry go rounds, drop-throughs, and even spinners, this MindWare creation is sure to bring a whole lot of fun to all members of your family.

The different colored pieces stack together like the building and construction bricks from Lego, although we would like to believe that they are more like Duplo because of their size. Regardless, the number of pieces is sure to create endless possibilities in the configuration of the play set. Your child can build the MindWare to be a towering structure or even a wide edifice. It’s all a matter of how your child wants the different pieces to be stacked and organized in relation to one another. The whole system should be able to introduce your child to the concept of engineering as he or she is able to build a structure out of pieces of blocks and other figures to transport 20 marbles from one point to another. Unfortunately, as the MindWare creation is fully opaque, we don’t actually recommend building it taller than your child as he or she may no longer be able to really enjoy the movement of the silvery ball through the maze of tunnels, tubes, and chutes.

What We Like about It – Just the opportunity to build something in a variety of ways is already enough reason to get the MindWare Marble Run. If any, its easy-to-stack feature make it a superb play set for young kids who would like to build their very own multi-level mini ball slide.

Marble Run Starter Set by Marble Genius

Marble Run Starter Set

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Age Range: At least 4 years old

If you think the Super Set of Marble Genius is a bit complicated for your young child, then maybe you should get him or her the Starter Set. Technically, the two play sets are essentially the same. However, since this is just a starter set, it only contains 60 pieces of easily stackable translucent tube, chutes, and merry go rounds as well as other structures. Additionally, instead of 8 supporting structures that serve as its sturdy base, the Starter Set only has 5. Other than these, it still manages to provide young children the very unique opportunity to build something sturdy and in a great number of ways. This should help enhance your kid’s ability to think logically as well as enhance his or her ability to solve problems as stacking one block on top of another will often require the understanding of basic cause and effect relationships or the action-reaction paradigm.

Clearly, what is amazing about this product is the translucent construction of its 60 pieces of building play set. This should help your child to better understand and appreciate the concept of gravity, the laws of physics, and, of course, cause and effect relationships. For instance, dropping marbles at the same time at various ports in the system will produce a variety of results. One may reach the finish line first or perhaps get in the way of the other marbles. But everything actually depends on how your child will be building and putting the different pieces together. This alone can be a very significant stepping stone to an early career in engineering.

What We Like about It – It’s an exciting play set to introduce your child to the fascinating world of marble run. If he or she loves it, then you can just buy the Super Set and let them create a really massive structure that can literally take up the entire space in your child’s bedroom or even playroom.

Marbulous Translucent Marble Run by Toto

Marbulous Translucent Marble Run

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Age Range: At least 4 years old

One of the reasons why some moms and dads are quite hesitant when it comes to buying a toy or play set such as marble runs is that they are not really sure if their kids would like playing with these toys. For parents, it would be just a waste of money if they buy something that their kids simply won’t be using. If you have the same concern, maybe the Marbulous Translucent Marble Run can help. The Marbulous is designed more like the Marble Genius products that we have in our list. However, it only contains 48 translucent pieces that includes a variety of tubes, spinners, chutes, and other colorful structures. It is thus, an excellent trial play set for your kid. If in case he or she doesn’t like it, you won’t feel bad about it. However, if your child loves it, then you have the flexibility to expand it and make the whole structure more complex.

This is one of the beauties of such types of toys. You can add to their complexity by buying additional sets. This way even if your child has already grown up to be a teenager, he or she can still play with it. The endless configurations will simply be astounding as building the structure can be accomplished in so many ways. The different pieces of the Marbulous are also designed to be translucent. This is especially beneficial for kids as they can have a great view of the 16 marbles that come with the play set as these mini balls race through the maze, running in circles, and going on a downward spiral. For some, this will be a very good stress buster.

What We Like about It – The Marbulous is designed specifically to introduce the art of marble running to children. The expandability of the Marbulous is also amazing at it gives you the latitude to create more opportunities for your child to really work his or her creativity.

Marble Madness Starter Set by MMP Living

Marble Madness Starter Set

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Age Range: At least 4 years old

There really is something about objects that move that fascinates people, especially kids. Experts say it’s simply how the brain is wired that we sometimes get transfixed on a moving object. Having your kids play with the Marble Madness Starter Set, as well as the other 9 play sets in our list, can actually help them use their focus and concentration as they attempt to track the ball and make accurate estimates as to when and where the mini glass ball will pop out next. This starter set comes with 54 beautifully designed Duplo-inspired pieces. We love calling them the mini Duplo tubes because of their size and colors that do remind us of the popular kiddie building blocks and bricks. It also has the same mechanism where your kid will be able to stack different tubes and pathways to create a stunning structural masterpiece.

Children will be able to explore their creativity with this particular play set. The ability to decide on what kind of configuration or arrangement of the building pieces can truly enhance children’s cognitive abilities. For the younger children, the use of primary colors can help them master their organizational skills as they get to sort similar colors together to make a more uniform structure. Or, they can create different patterns with the different pieces. The learning possibilities are limitless. About its material construction, you can be sure that it’s kid-safe and that it doesn’t contain any of those harmful chemicals we all hear about that can adversely affect our children’s health and safety.

What We Like about It – The Marble Madness may not have all of the different structures that the other play sets in our list have, but it sure can provide the opportunities to challenge our children’s cognitive abilities. This should be enough reason to include this play set in your must-buy list for your kids.

Marble Run Coaster by Tevelo

marble-run-coaster

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Age Range: At least 3 years old 

You don’t actually have to wait until your kid is a preschooler to get him or her get addicted to playing with a marble run. With the Marble Run Coaster, your toddler will now have the chance to build his or her very own marble run structure. What makes this different from the others we have in our shortlist, you ask? Well, every single piece of this 75-unit play set is designed specifically for young kids who are more attracted to softer colors and with more shapes. For instance, instead of the usual cylindrical tubes, some of the passageways of the Coaster are designed in wave patterns. The spinners and wheels are also more colorful. The Coaster also provides a combination of translucent and opaque parts so your child will have an excellent experience trying to figure out the various mechanisms of the system.

With a variety of chutes, curves, and ramps as well as spinners, your toddler will be able to explore the extent of his or her creativity as he or she tries to make sense of the different pieces and attempts to create a truly superb system. Unlike other play sets of this kind, the Coaster features mini plastic balls instead of the glass types. Because plastic is inherently lighter than glass or even metal balls, the manner in which the ball moves across the maze should provide a more entertaining show for your toddler. This is because the movement will be much slower compared to heavier balls. This makes tracking the ball movement a lot easier for young children so they can really appreciate simple physics.

What We Like about It – The more fun design of the Coaster makes it ideal for toddlers to start appreciating the usefulness of marble runs as a learning tool and not only as a plaything. The other good news is that the Coaster has larger pieces so it makes building a lot easier for toddlers.

Tumble Trax Magnetic Marble Run by Learning Resources

Tumble Trax Magnetic Marble Run

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Age Range: 3 to 12 years old

While it’s true that a marble run can help your child to develop his or her cognitive skills, we found a more effective plaything that can really elevate your child’s ability to solve problems. We’d like to introduce the Tumble Trax Magnetic Marble Run. This is a really ingenious take on the classic. There’s no stacking of tubes. The number of pieces don’t even reach 20. The Tumble Trax comes in with a mere 14 pieces of duly magnetized foam pieces which, as the name implies, your kid will have to place on a metallic surface like your refrigerator door. What makes the Tumble Trax really different is that it is more like a puzzle than it is something to build. It comes with 10 activity cards with drawings of how the pieces can be arranged to achieve the desired ball movement effect. All your child needs to do is to follow the arrangement of the pieces as drawn in the activity card. You can simply look at the activity cards as a training manual for your child. Once he or she has mastered the basics, your child can then create his or her very own configurations. The point is, by manipulating the arrangement and positioning of each piece, your child will be able to effectively control the movement of the 4 marbles that come with the set.

What We Like about It – The Tumble Trax offers a very different yet truly entertaining twist to a classic game. At any rate, your child will be able to harness his or her true cognitive potential.

Amaze ‘N’ Marbles 60 Piece Classic Wood Construction Set by Ideal

Amaze ‘N’ Marbles 60 Piece Classic Wood Construction Set

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Age Range: At least 5 years old 

Want a unique marble run for your kid? Afraid that the plastic construction of today’s toys are harmful to your child? If so, you may want to get the Amaze ‘N’ Marble Classic Wood Construction Set. Unlike the other sets in this top 10 list, the Amaze ‘N’ Marbles feature 50 all-natural, premium grade, beautifully crafted wooden pieces complete with grooves or channels for the 10 marbles to move along and angled holes for the balls to pass through. It is basically like any other marble run, at least in principle. However, its true ingenuity lies in how your child will position each wooden block to create one continuous fun run for the marbles. This is where your child’s creativity and critical thinking skills will be put to the test. At any rate, your child will be safe playing with the Amaze ‘N’ Marbles because all of the wooden blocks are finished with tested-safe materials.

What We Like about It – The use of wood as material for toys is nothing new. In fact, it is one of the safest and most durable materials you can have on a toy. Functionally, the system of channels and angled holes of the Amaze ‘N’ Marbles is what we really love about this set.

Super Marble Run Toy by Galt Toys

Super Marble Run Toy

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Age Range: 4 to 8 years old

Unpretentious yet effective. That’s the most apt description we have about the Super Marble Run Toy. This playset does it pretty straightforward. Each of the 60 pieces of this toy is built with only the safest and highest grade materials as tested by leading toy safety regulatory agencies in the US, the UK, Canada, and Europe. While these certifications don’t really mean a lot to kids, this Galt product doesn’t fail in its purpose, either. Children will have a blast configuring the various pieces to create one stunning masterpiece. You can even join in the fun and let the whole family have endless bonding time.

What We Like about It – The safety standards set by the Galt Super Marble Run is simply phenomenal. At any rate, you won’t have qualms about its safety as well as its quality.

Quadrilla Wooden Marble Run Construction by Hape 

Quadrilla Wooden Marble Run Construction

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Age Range: 4 to 15 years old

If you like the Amaze ‘N’ Marbles but wish there were more pieces or more variations in the building blocks, then you have to get the Quadrilla Wooden Marble Run Construction. There are spirals, ramps, angled holes, and masterfully channeled wooden blocks. The German design as actually inspired by the famed Da Vinci circles which should give you the impression that this is no ordinary marble run. Unlike the others in our list, the open channels on the wooden blocks present a very unique challenge to kids as they need to configure and position the different pieces together very precisely. This helps them develop absolute precision and accuracy in all of their undertakings. The Quadrilla is also a recipient of two famous German toy awards: the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum and the Spiel Gut awards.

What We Like about It – German technology is renowned worldwide. This know-how is omnipresent in the Quadrilla. You can just imagine the implications of its design on your kid’s development.

How We Chose the Top Marble Runs in Our List

Selecting which among the hundreds of marble runs currently in the market we had to include in our shortlist was very challenging, to say the least. First it was all about cutting the number to a more manageable size. Product reviews and ratings were thus, considered to come up with a much shorter pool of products to be evaluated. This gave us the reassurance that all of the products that we have shared with you in our top 10 list are also recommended by many moms and dads.

Each of the shortlisted marble runs was then subjected to a more thorough evaluation using a variety of parameters. Chief of these was the inherent developmental appropriateness of the marble run. We had to look at the manufacturer’s recommended age and determine whether the complexity of the play set is appropriate for the child’s developmental age. We also carefully evaluated other inherent features in each of these products to determine how they would fit in a child’s need to develop his or her true potentials.

Safety is also a primary concern. Since most of the products that we have evaluated are made of plastic, it is essential that they are not made of harmful materials or are finished with a variety of chemicals that can undermine the health of our children.

The company’s trustworthiness was also factored into the shortlist as this can help us give you the peace of mind that you need regarding the quality and safety of the products we have listed. We know for a fact that highly reputable organizations will never do anything that will tarnish their good image.

Marble Runs and Your Child’s Cognitive Development

One of the most important benefits of playing with marble runs by children is the development of their cognitive abilities. There is simply a lot of cognitive processes going on every time a child plays with these kinds of toys.

For the most part, their logical thinking will be enhanced as they attempt to piece the different building blocks to create a continuous pathway for the marbles to reach their destination. This requires logic and critical thinking that largely depends on their understanding of cause and effect relationships. By looking at the different pieces, they are able to mentally paint a possible outcome if they are going to position a piece in one particular way. Changing the position or configuration of this building or construction piece can also lead to another “effect”. It is this mental processing of many cause-and-effects that children are able to develop their logic and critical thinking.

This can also have a significant implication in their problem solving abilities. By thinking logically and critically, they are able to develop an understanding of the essence of a scientific process. This can help them process other more complex problems in the future as they now have a very rudimentary yet effective understanding of such concepts.

Children’s spatial intelligence can also be enhanced by these types of toys. This gives them the opportunity to define the relationship of an object with the space around it. Dropping marbles into the holes of these playsets simply mean kids will have a good spatial sense, not to mention good hand-eye coordination as well as superb control of fine motor skills.

The Bottom Line

Marble runs, like building and construction playsets, are beneficial to your child’s development. We hope you have found something from our top 10 marble runs that you think your kid, or even the rest of your family, will love.

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Selina Marie
Selina Marie is our head of content for MyKidNeedsThat.com, mum of two and a self proclaimed toy geek. When she isn't juggling the madness at home, on a school run or baking her world famous blueberry muffins, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest toys and fun for our readers!
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