Saturday, June 23, 2007

Run, Marble, Run!

Wow has it been busy at our house for the past month and a half! We've been finishing up school, finishing up our MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) year, going on vacation, and celebrating three of the kids' birthdays! In addition, we've been taking day trips and making doctor's appointments. Finally, it is June 23rd and we are seeing a light at the end of this busy tunnel!!

So, when my kids asked me the other day to play marbles I thought it was a great idea. Only, I wasn't in the mood to play a game of marbles. I have a special fondness for the marble run. We actually have two. One is magnetic and gets stuck to the wall or frig and configured to transport marbles. The other one can be built on the floor in a variety of different ways. I just love to get on the floor with the kids and build a huge run. In fact, while we were building this one I realized that we need more pieces! I wonder if I can squeeze that in on this year's school budget. With four kids, I need plenty of material for creativity. To really make this work, we need more stacking pieces.

Each child helped in some way to build this run and we all had a good time letting the marbles go from the top. My 8yo prefers to build and engineer a run more than he likes to see it in action. Once a good one is built and everyone is having a good time, he merely watches the marbles and will not hesitate to make changes to see the marble go a different way. Boy does this drive his siblings crazy! Mostly, they like to get lots of marbles going at once. I have to admit that is one of my favorite parts too. How many can get going at once to fill the tray at the bottom.

Our toddler thought this was GREAT fun! He likes to watch the marbles travel and he likes to impede progress- in many ways. He doesn't quite have the hang of the fact that a marble run is not to be used to help oneself up off the ground. He likes to reach through the middle to get run away marbles. So, of course, my job is to hold things steady and make sure toddler-zilla doesn't crash it to the ground. Another way he can stop progress is to stop the marbles in mid-zoom! I couldn't get him to stop messing with my loop-d-loop! He kept saying uh-oh to that piece I think because he couldn't see the marble being able to continue with a track that went upside down. He's pretty clever at noticing things like that.

So, what have you been doing with the kids this summer? I imagine we'll make some more marble runs. It's such a great family activity for us in our cool basement playroom/schoolroom. And I'll be sure to keep you posted on any additions to the collection we manage to secure. I mean, how can we achieve structural greatness without lots and lots of pieces??


Michele said...

Hi Heather,
I love you blog! I was wondering where you got your marble run? The one you have pictured? Can you tell me if it stays together well. My five year old would love it. We had one a couple of years ago, but it was junk and would not stay together. I have been looking for one. That one looks really cool!
Michele NJ from the FIAR boards

jla said...

Hi Heather,

I'd also love to know where you got your wall hung marble run. I've been searching the internet for one, but have only come across your blog! Thanks and best - Jennifer