Marble runs are a long-lasting toy because you can design so many different types of games with them.
Setting up a marble race is a perfect example of the toy's versatility, and it can be a great learning opportunity for kids. It also introduces a competitive aspect, which further extends how much the toy gets played with.
TO CREATE A MARBLE RACE WITH YOUR MARBLE RUN, HERE ARE SOME STEPS TO FOLLOW:
1. Make sure you have a high-quality marble run.
The best marble runs for racing have plenty of tubes and action pieces. See-through pieces are also a must-have, since they allow you to see the marble action from start to finish.
2. Decide which type of race you'll create with your marble run.
You can either build a race with interconnected pieces (like the one pictured below), or you can build two separate structures. Building an interconnected race requires a little more teamwork and planning, while separate structures allow for independent construction.
3. Evenly divide your marble run pieces.
Once you decide what type of race to set up, evenly divide the number of bases, tubes, and action pieces. This is very important so the race is as fair as possible. As you set up the marble run, you might find that one needs more bases or tubes than the other, which is okay. The key is that you don't want an imbalance of action pieces because it will greatly impact the outcome of the race.
4. Decide how you'll conduct your marble race.
Now that your marble run is ready for the race, you have some options for how to conduct it. You can either release the marbles down the marble run simultaneously, or you can get a tablet/smartphone/stopwatch to time the marbles from top to bottom. We recommend trying both options and conducting the race at least three times before declaring a winner. This guarantees the result is consistent.
LEARNING BENEFITS OF MARBLE RACES
If you've been around here long, you know we believe strongly in the value of marble runs as an educational toy.
Marble races are a perfect learning opportunity for the following reasons:
- Kids can analyze which action pieces produce the fastest results and why.
- They learn basic physics concepts by noting how steepness and length affect the speed of the marble.
- They learn time concepts and comparison of results.
- They gain the ability to analyze processes and make adjustments to achieve faster results.
Setting up and executing a marble race is also an opportunity for us as parents to work alongside our kids and show them how we problem solve.
Marble runs provide kids so many opportunities to play and learn. The marble race is just one of the many ways you can use your marble run to help your child grow and develop.
We would love to learn how you use your marble run to have a marble race at home. Please send your pictures to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll find a way to share with others!