For most of us, the dog days of winter are making their presence felt through cooped up kids who love to say the three dreaded words…I AM BORED!!! Being a mom to three kids, I have heard my share of “I am bored.” But how do we stop this and create engaging and active ways for them to play inside?
As parents, it’s our responsibility to come up with creative ways to fight the boredom and not just put a screen in front of them for the winter. According to the market research firm Childwise, “Children aged five to 16 spend an average of six and a half hours a day in front of a screen compared with around three hours in 1995" (http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-32067158). This is unacceptable, but is definitely easy to do and I have been guilty of it as well.
There are lots of different types of toys you can buy for your kids, and there’s nothing worse than a closed-ended toy that they are done with after 10 minutes. Finding toys that are truly open-ended, giving them numerous ways to play and actually holding their attention for extended periods of time is extremely challenging. Here are some ideas we have...
Sometimes, we avoid buying open-ended toys because we see our children stop playing with them after the novelty has worn off. The most frequent question about a toy: “Will my child continue to play with it or will it just collect dust?”
Let’s change our thinking here. If children stop playing with an item, parents may think that the failure lies with the toy. Really, no one is at fault. Perhaps the child is just not feeling inspired. They are human, and we can’t expect them to be creative all the time. When children—and even adults—feel this uninspired, they want to just buy more to fill the void again and again.
When I see that my children are becoming bored or ignoring their open-ended toys, I just start playing with the toys by myself. I do not invite them to join me, but they always end up joining. They’ll sit beside me and say, “Hey Mom, look what I made!” The inspiration returns, without any nudging or direction. All I had to do was sit down and play first. It works every time.
Winter might challenge families to stay active, but with the right toys and a little creativity, you can turn boredom into a fun family experience.
We're excited today to let you know about 9 new Marble Run Accessory Sets that we recently released on Amazon that range in price from $6.99 - $12.99! These Marble Run Accessory Sets are compatible with any of our Marble Genius Marble Run Toys and any marble run toy that uses Marbulous pieces. We developed these 9 products based on many requests we have received over the last year. The intent of this blog post is to let you know about each one.
Enhance the excitement of your existing marble run with this automatic chain lift. Explore the fun that comes with combining more than 1 chain lift together to create a fully automated infinite loop.
Challenge your building abilities and enhance the playability of your marble run with jumps & swings that move marbles through the air to other locations on the marble run toy. 2 Jumps, 2 Swings, & 4 Catches are provided in this set. The additional pieces/marbles shown in the picture above are for illustration only and are available in other sets but not included with this set.
4 of our largest bases are included in this Accessory Set to enhance the stability & playability of your existing marble run.
The 5 pieces that come with this set produce exciting action with marbles including a full 360 degree circle. Expand the fun of your existing marble run toy by adding these pieces!
These glass marbles are compatible with any of our Marble Genius marble run toys and are the standard size for toy marbles (5/8 inch each).
The 5 pieces that come with this set produce exciting action with marbles including a full 360 degree circle and 2 Y splitters that alternate the direction of marbles. Expand the fun of your existing marble run toy by adding these pieces!
Increase the fun as well as the strength and stability of your marble run by leveraging our Round 'n Round topper pieces.
Quickly increase the size and playability of your existing marble run by adding the 30 translucent tubes that are included with this set.
We have even more exciting products and innovative technologies for your existing marble run toys that are scheduled to be released in 2018 so stay tuned. Also, we would love to hear your feedback on additional products that you are interested in! Please send an e-mail to email@example.com with your input.
In today's digital world, we are always making buying decisions either consciously or sub-consciously based on Social Proof. This simply means that we rely on the input of others to help us make a decision. For instance, we like to look at reviews on Amazon to learn how other people like a product before we buy or maybe we look at a popular website or blog to see what they recommend.
At Marble Genius, we strive to make the best Marble Run Toys that you will find anywhere and we believe there is significant external validation that backs this statement up. Using Google or going straight to Amazon is a great way to to get this information, but we thought it might be helpful to share with you some of this Social Proof.
Amazon - Best Selling Marble Run
According to Forbes, Amazon's market power "now rivals or exceeds Walmart" and almost 50% of US households are Amazon Prime Members. Given this market power, looking at reviews of a product on Amazon is a great place to start to get a sense of whether this product might be something to buy or not. Products with a significant number of Verified Reviews as well as products that have at least 4 stars are a good starting point for Social Proof. At Marble Genius, each of our products have a healthy number of Verified Reviews and we encourage you to take a look at those before making a buying decision.
Another great thing to consider on Amazon before making a buying decision is how a particular item ranks in a given category. One thing to watch out for is a particular product might be a Best Seller for the day due to a large number of giveaways or because they deeply discounted their price for a day to get a better ranking, but if you consistently see a product at the top of it's category it's safe to say that most people are buying that product in that particular category. In the Marble Run Category, our Super Set has consistently been the Best Selling Marble Run Toy on Amazon. This can obviously always change, which is why we included the link so that you can see what the Best Selling Marble Run products are when you are reading this. When you want to identify what the Best Selling item in a category is, the quickest way I have found to do this is to actually Google "Amazon Best Selling _________" and that typically gets you there fastest.
External Websites & Blogs:
As of this writing, there are over 1 Billion websites on the internet, which is a staggering figure and another reason why you definitely have to consider the source or look to multiple data points before relying on what it is saying. You can also use Alexa to see how popular a particular website is.
According to Wiki.ezvid.com, which is the world's first video wiki that gets millions of visitors every month and is a top 3000 website on the internet, our Marble Genius Super Set is the # 2 Best Marble Run Toy on the market and the best plastic Marble Run Toy in their rankings. They spent over 29 hours compiling this and if you click the link you can see the video of the top 10 Marble Runs and additional explanation. Note: they did not accept any money or input from the companies whose products they reviewed.
Another significant website, MyKidsNeedThat.com has ranked our Marble Genius Super Set as the #1 overall Marble Run for 2017 and our Marble Genius Starter Set as the #3 Marble Run on the market. This website goes into great detail as far as their methodology is concerned and they did not accept any money or input from the companies whose products they reviewed as well. One other interesting observation that the # 1 ranked Marble Run on Wiki.ezvid.com was ranked #10 on this website. This is another reason to look at multiple sources before making buying decisions because there can be significant variability with product rankings.
We are extremely thankful to each of the sites above for the platform they have provided to help us grow our product. It's worth noting that we have no affiliation with either of the 2 websites mentioned above and our only affiliation with Amazon is that we sell on their platform.
We have had a goal for a while to build a tall Marble Run with our Marble Genius Marble Run Toys and we decided to do just that a couple weeks ago. After establishing a solid base with 10 bases, we started inter-locking the Marble Run pieces. Building the first 6 feet of the Marble Run went relatively quickly because a ladder wasn't necessary. The base and the first several feet of the Marble Run were the most important because the strong foundation we established allowed the Marble Run to climb over 2 stories. In addition to the large number of bases at the bottom, 4 "poles" were established that would extend from the bases to the very top of the Marble Run. You can see these 4 "poles" that are a combination of Marble Run Tubes and Marble Run Action Pieces in the main picture.
Once we got above 6 feet, a ladder was necessary to complete the build. This is the part of the Marble Run that took the most time (over 3.5 hours). All told, it took over 5 hours to build this 2-Story marble Run and took over 20 Marble Genius Marble Run Toys (Starter Set, Super Set, & Extreme Set). As we were finishing, the wind started to pick-up so it became necessary to secure the Marble Run to the ladder with a couple of bungee cords and we secured the ladder to the roof with a bungee cord as well. This allowed us to keep the Marble Run up for about a week so that we could produce the video below.
We occasionally see feedback on Amazon that indicates our Marble Run Toys are not very stable. We hope this 2-story Marble Run provides encouragement to those that struggle to create a stable structure. It absolutely can be done if you establish a solid foundation and interlock the structure. Please enjoy this Marble Run and we would love it if you would send the tallest Marble Run structures that you have created!