ThinkFun Gravity Maze STEM Marble Run
Last updated date: August 24, 2021
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We looked at the top Marble Runs and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Marble Run you should buy.
Update as February 2, 2022:
Checkout Stretch Your Imagination With The Best Marble Runs for a detailed review of all the top marble runs.
This engaging toy gives the traditional marble run a twist with a focus on engineering. It can be played "freestyle" or through 60 different challenges that test a child's problem-solving skills. The toy includes a game grid, nine towers, a target piece and three marbles.
In our analysis, the ThinkFun ThinkFun Gravity Maze STEM Marble Run placed 1st when we looked at the top 7 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
From The Manufacturer
Trusted by Families Worldwide. With over 50 million sold, ThinkFun is the world’s leading manufacturer of brain games and mind challenging puzzles. Develops critical skills. Playing your way through the challenges builds spatial reasoning and planning skills, and is partly an engineering and building toy that provides a great stealth learning experience for young players. What you get. Gravity Maze is a combination logic game, marble run, and STEM toy that’s one of the best gifts you can buy for boys and girls age 8 and up It contains 60 challenges from beginner to expert, a game grid, 9 towers, 1 target piece, and 3 marbles. Clear instructions. Easy to learn with a clear, high quality instruction manual You can start playing and solving right away. Comes with multi-level challenges. Gravity Maze comes with 60 beginner to expert challenges that become increasingly difficult as you play through them.
Overall Product Rankings
An Overview On Marble Runs
Every year, kids’ toys seem to get more complex. Go to any department store or online outlet today and you can find toys that incorporate everything from lasers to virtual reality. Chances are your own kids have already asked you for many of them. But while these toys aren’t necessarily detrimental to young minds, sometimes the most entertaining and educational toys don’t need you to plug them in.
Case in point: The marble run. This whimsical toy is one of the best STEM activities around for younger kids, and it’s powered by nothing more than gravity. Your youngster will learn a lot about that fundamental force of nature by playing with a marble run, and they’ll get to see friction and some basic engineering principles in action as well.
Of course, all that education is a fringe benefit. First and foremost, the act of building your own tiny marble racetrack is fun — so much fun that you might find yourself playing with the set when your kids aren’t around.
Even though marble run toys have an all-ages appeal, it’s important to pick a set that’s tailored to your child. Broadly defined, a marble run is any set of interlocking pieces that can form a track for a marble to roll down. You can find them in a wide variety of sizes, configurations and materials, but some sets can be too complex for younger children. Start simple for preschoolers. You might even consider buying toddlers a run that doesn’t use marbles at all. Small metal, glass or ceramic balls are a big choking hazard: Sets that use a larger plastic ball instead are more age-appropriate for younger children.
Once your child reaches the age of 4 or 5, you can start introducing them to more complex marble runs. There are some elaborate sets out there, made from brightly-colored plastic or even glow-in-the-dark materials that incorporate ramps, launchers and swings. These can provide a real “wow” factor, and as your kids build bigger and bigger sets they’ll be learning engineering concepts in a sneaky way. If you go with a wooden set, they might also learn a thing or two about traction — although those marble runs are typically geared more toward toddlers.
Quality marble runs will have pieces that interlock easily and balance well without being too hard to take apart. They should also be sturdy enough to stand up to the occasional collapse when your young one gets a little too ambitious. Also, look for sets that you can expand by buying additional pieces down the road. Once you and your kid start rolling those marbles down, you’ll want to build tracks that cover the whole room!
The Marble Run Buying Guide
One of the great things about marble runs is how well they lend themself to solitary play. In fact, marble runs are incredibly versatile, and you might be surprised at the different ways older kids will find to play with them.
When it comes to younger children, though, don’t underestimate their ability to stick objects other than marbles inside the tubes. It’s all part of the learning process, but can be troublesome. You might want to consider keeping pipe cleaners or other tools around to “unclog” stuck pipes.
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