Best Marble Run Sets For Kids 2020
Marble runs are engaging toys that can keep kids of all ages amused for hours. They are STEM toys. They help children develop logical thinking, problem-solving, and manual dexterity while they're playing and enjoying themselves.
And they keep kids away from staring at screens all day.
Marble runs can help children develop interests in science and engineering at a young age, which will benefit them as they grow older.
All marble runs work on the same principle. Kids place a marble (or steel ball) in the uppermost part of a marble run structure, then gravity takes it through a series of obstacles until it reaches the bottom.
The majority of marble runs can be assembled, dismantled, and rebuilt in the same or a different configuration, time and again, which helps with 'trial and error' learning. Kids enjoy the challenge of assembly. They also appreciate the thrill of watching the marble run its course to the end.
Types of Marble Run
There are many different sizes of marble run toy and different complexities
Wooden Marble Run Toys
Wooden Marble Runs have a more traditional and open feel about them.
They are the most durable type, and components are less likely to crack. While lacking some of the more elaborate obstacle and action elements present in more detailed sets, they are still visually exciting and provide a lot of play value.
Magnetic Marble Run Toys
Several marble runs use magnetized components that kids can play with on any magnetic surface - like a fridge door, for example. These are mainly for younger children, and allow them to create their own layouts as well as the manufacturers designs.
Plastic Marble Run Toys
The most popular marble run toys are brightly colored plastic. They use interlinking translucent tubular components that are easy for kids to assemble.
They include action elements that can slow or speed up the marbles' passage and add to the fun. Kids can build them in pre-designed layouts, or design their own.
They are not limited to younger kids either. The more detailed kits include sophisticated action elements that appeal to older children who enjoy the challenge of creating different layouts themselves. Track design, track length and available accessories all contribute to the overall fun to be enjoyed with the best marble run sets.
Whatever type of marble run toy you choose, they represent some of the best examples of STEM toys you can give a child.
Best Wooden Marble Run
Hape Quadrilla Wooden Marble Run
The Hape Quadrilla marble run looks a lot more like a traditional wooden toy. Each wood piece is made from quality birch or rubberwood, has a non-toxic child-safe finish, and is color-coded for a specific function.
There are many different configurations you can build using the spins and drops, seesaws, and speed of the original design.
The design has won several 'good toy' awards and is a quality product.
Recommended age range 4 to 15 years.
Marblecity Dragon Coaster & Skate Park
Marbleocity marble runs differ from most others in that they build into a permanent structure. The US-made wood kits comprise laser-cut wooden parts that need to be glued together. They'll take kids between three and five hours to build, and then they'll have a fascinating working static marble run model.
Marbles can run through a lift, a stair descent, a rail slide, and a jump. If you have both the Marbleocity Skate Park and Dragon Coaster kits (they are sold separately), you can connect them and expand your marble run machine.
Recommended for ages 12 years and up.
Magnetic Marble Run Sets
Learning Resources Tumble Trax
Learning Resources Tumble Trax uses 14 colorful magnetic foam strips to create marble runs on fridge doors. It’s great if space is limited or you want to keep an eye on the kids while working. The kit also includes 10 activity cards showing different run layouts, 14 magnetic foam shapes, and 4 marbles. Tumble Trax has been a winner of a Toy Industry Association specialty award.
Recommended for ages 5 and up.
Cube Based Marble Runs
Gravity Maze Marble Run Logic Game
Gravity Maze Marble Run is a combination of marble run, STEM toy, and a logic game by ThinkFun. It teaches children planning and reasoning skills while they're having fun. It's different from most marble run games in that it uses a modular cube system, not tubes or tracks, to create the layout.
Gravity Maze is a single-player game. Kids use challenge cards to set up the marble run on a grid, and then they have to get the falling marble from a high start point into a designated end position.
Challenge cards show where to place the cube towers to create a path leading to the target, and full easy-to-learn game instructions let kids start playing straightaway. Kids have multi-level challenges to work through, from beginner to expert.
There are a game grid in the box, 9 building towers, target tower, 3 marbles (1 to play with plus 2 spares), 60 Challenges and full games instructions.
Gravity maze is a cool STEM toy for kids to play with on their own.
Recommended ages 8+
Mindware Q-BA-Maze Marble Run
The Q-BA-Maze Starter Set uses red, yellow, blue, and green interlocking cubes to build a marble run structure. You can create any design of your own or build the four pre-designed runs (one at a time) detailed in the design booklet that comes with this set.
In the Box:
- 73 pieces:
- 56 x cubes - single-exit, double-exit, four-way exit, and bottom-exit.
- 2 x Stunt pieces - a Speed Sprocket and a Roto Catcher.
- 15 x Steel marbles
- Design booklet
Plastic Tubular Marble Run Sets
See all plastic marble run sets for kids HERE!
Marble Run Set by MagicFly
This Marble Run Track Toy Set from MagicFly has 90 brightly colored translucent pieces. They are made of non-toxic, child -friendly ABS plastic that easily fit together. Also included are 32 DIY marbles and 3 glass marbles. Full assembly instructions are included and kids can reassemble the structure to their own design if they wish.
Recommended ages: 3 years and up.
- 127 Pieces
- 90 pieces are see-through
- 32 DIY Marbles
- 5 Glass marbles
Age range: 3 years +
Marble Genius Marble Run Extreme Set
This extreme set from Marble Genius has 125 translucent tubular sections, 42 action pieces, and 9 bases to maintain structural stability. Assemble as per the instructions or build out to your own configuration.
This set is fully compatible with other Marble Genius sets to form mega structures!
- 125 Translucent pieces
- 42 Action pieces
- 20 Glass marbles included
Age range: 4 years +
More Detailed & Super Size Marble Runs
Gravitrax Starter Sets from Ravensburger
Gravitrax by Ravensburger is synonymous with marble runs, and they have a cracking range this year. These toys are epic! They use an interactive track system that enables you to design and build marble run layouts straightaway.
There are two starter sets, one almost twice the size of the other - 240 elements vs 122 elements - and have a range of add-ons that can enhance the capabilities of your designs.
A great feature of these sets is that they provide screen-free play. No smart device is needed to have a lot of creative fun. However, you can download a free app to record all your track designs so you can rebuild them again later.
There are no electronics involved. It's a complete manual concept that gets kids learning about gravity, magnetism, and kinetics, and which exercises their planning skills, spatial reasoning and creative flair.
Gravitrax comes with full instructions, and you can start to play with it straight out the box. This is a STEM toy that can be played with by the family.
Recommended age range: 8 years and above.
See all Gravitrax marble run sets HERE!
Gravitrax Add-on Accessories
Age Range: 8 years and up.
Gravitrax Starter Set
fischertechnik Dynamic XXL Set
The Dynamic XXL is the biggest marble run construction set from fischertechik and is fully compatible with all other Dynamic playsets.
It includes designs for three marble run obstacle courses, each over two feet in height, which create faster speeds and excitement as the marbles run down through the course.
With eighteen feet of track, it is significantly bigger than most other runs. It features looping, stop-and-release, and crossover effect. Each building block is attachable on all six sides. Once the balls have reached the bottom, the motor-powered chain lift takes them back to the top for another run.
- 1310 Parts
- 2 Flex tubes
- 18 Feet of track length
- Can build 3 large scale models
- 2 Fischertechnik XS motors
- 2 Rainbow LEDs
- 9v battery needed - not included
- Can be used with all other fischertechnik Dynamic series kits
Recommended age range: 9 - 20 years
fischertechnik Dynamic L2 Building Kit
The fischertechnik Dynamic L2 marble run set contains 760 parts that can be used to build 7 different models - one at a time - or your own designs.
Four of the detailed designs are for kids to run as an experiment. They will help teach them about force and dynamics, speed, centrifugal and gravitational forces, kinetic energy, static, sliding, and rolling friction.
The other three courses are out-and-out fast fun obstacle runs!
Special features of this marble run include higher speeds and steeper inclines, a ball elevator, and teeter-totter change of direction.
- 760 parts
- 29 Flex rails
- 4 x 90 degree curves
- 3 x 180 degree curves
- Includes a rotary funnel and a crossover
- Can build 7 different models
- 8 Steel balls
- XS fischertechnik motor
- Requires a 9 volt battery that is not included
- Can be used with all other fischertechnik Dynamic series kits
For ages 9 years and up