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The Best Marble Run – A Fun Way to Teach Kids STEM Skills


A marble run enables advanced cognitive skills and improved motor skills while also teaching problem solving and memory. Marble runs can give your kid confidence, creativity, and even teamwork skills. Our research shows that the following are the best marble runs for STEM skills. 

Top 4 Best Marble RunsWhy It's BestRating
ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble RunA falling marble logic game with 60 challenges♥♥♥♥♥
Ravensburger Gravitrax Marble Run Futuristic with metal track♥♥♥♥♥
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Glowing Marble RunReal glass glow-in-the-dark marbles♥♥♥♥♥
WTOR Marble Maze Game Has over 200 pieces♥♥♥♥♥

The Best Marble Runs of 2021

ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble Run

ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble Run Brain Game and STEM Toy for Boys and Girls Age 8 and Up – Toy of the Year Award Winner
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The ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble Run is unique in that it doesn’t look like a traditional marble run and it’s designed to provide children with multiple challenges. The multi-colored cubes are immediately eye-catching, making this run even more fun to play with.

Included within this 75-piece set are 60 challenges, a game grid, 1 target piece, 9 towers, and 3 marbles. The challenges range from beginner to expert where the player must try to get the marble from the top of the run to the bottom target piece.

Because this STEM toy involves more logic to complete challenges and is harder to follow than a traditional plastic marble run, ThinkFun recommends this marble run for children ages 8 and up. 

Issues

The main thing to consider is how interested your child may be in it. For children with shorter attention spans, they are likely to prefer a marble run where they can see the marble more clearly as it runs the course. Some buyers say their 8 to 9-year-olds were not very interested in this marble run. 

Ravensburger Gravitrax Marble Run & STEM Toy 

Ravensburger Gravitrax Starter Set Marble Run & STEM Toy For Kids Age 8 & Up - Endless Indoor Activity for Families
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You may know Ravensburger for the puzzles but now you can know them for their Gravitrax Marble Run. This set is completely different as it has metal tracks and a futuristic appearance. This marble run is made for children over the age of eight and it’s definitely meant to appeal to their love of technology.

You’ll find 122 pieces inside the box with an interactive track system to make innovative marble runs. Your child can design and build their own race tracks and experiment with gravity, magnetism, and kinetics to force their ball to the finish line. Clear instructions come with the sack so your child can build and play with the marble run in minutes. 

Last of all, if your child doesn’t feel like creating their own system they can use one of the nine ready-to-go track designs or try 24 fun challenges.

A great way to get your children off of screens to try out a modular design for a whole learning process. They can even try out fun trick shots or experiment on the Gravitrax app first before building the real thing.

Issues 

As the set only includes 122 pieces, they may want an extra set for more pieces. 

Also, the price is a little high but still easily affordable for a fabulous brand and for an educational toy like this one. 

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Glowing Marble Run

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Glowing Marble Run – 80 Piece Construction Set with 15 Glow in the Dark Glass Marbles & Mesh Storage Bag, Educational STEM Toy, an AMAZON EXCLUSIVE Science Kit
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What kid doesn’t love a toy that glows? With the Glowing Marble Run from NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, your child will get to construct a 80-piece marble run that includes 5 bases, 15 action pieces, and 45 track pieces.

An included UV light is used to prepare each of the 6 different colored marbles to glow bright when they race down the run. These are actual glass marbles too!

Don’t worry about storing all the pieces because this set includes a storage bag and a marble pouch to make sure everything is secure and in place.

If your child isn’t sure where to start, there’s a learning guide with instructions also included, so they can get right to building! It also includes information on physics and gravity, allowing your child the opportunity to learn more about how a marble run works. 

Want more pieces? Choose from sizes small, medium, or large for the best-sized marble run.

WTOR Marble Run 

WTOR 216Pcs Marble Run Super Set Toys Marble Maze Game Educational Learning Building Blocks Boys Girls Toys for Kids Children
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Grab the WTOR Marble Run Super Marble Mazeand make a family night adventure.

This set comes with 216 pieces of hard start plastic to build the perfect marble run. Comes in multiple colors including yellow, blue, red, green, and purple. From base pieces to bridges to funnels and tons of balls, find new in imaginative ways to rebuild your marble run as often as you wish.

At the tallest height, the marble run can go up to 37.5 inches tall, which is about the height of a three-year-old child. All the pieces are easy to assemble, as they just click into place and then pop back out when you’re ready so you can change up the design.

Marble tracks teach valuable skills such as hand-eye coordination, recognition of shapes, spatial reasoning, and logical thinking.

This set works for children ages three and up while offering a great way for families to work together for a lot of fun. Of course, the prize at the end is watching your creation in action as the marbles roll through the whole series and end with a bang. It includes a storage case and instructions with pictures for inspiration.

Issues 

The set does not include real marbles, but instead plastic marbles you actually have to assemble. If you do not want plastic marbles and would rather have weighted marbles for more intense maze runs, try finding better marbles like this set: Toysmith Marbles in a Tin Box.

Klobroz Marble Run Building Blocks Kit

Marble Run Building Blocks, 137 PCS Classic Big Blocks STEM Toy Bricks Set Kids Race Track Compatible with All Major Brands Bulk Bricks Set for Boys Girls Toddler Age 3,4,5,6,7,8+
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Preschoolers may get overwhelmed by larger marble runs, but the Klobroz Marble Run Building Blocks Kit makes for a fun learning toy. Children ages three and up can enjoy making a roller coaster construction toy for their marbles. The set includes Lego-like building blocks geared toward making smooth-rolling paths for marbles.

First, the kids can start with the Lego-style base. From there, they can use rounded pieces to build a track for a marble. Second, the blocks can be used to raise the base up to make for a fabulous funnel run with the included pieces. The set even includes a little vehicle for the marbles to be carried around on. 

This marble roller coaster construction set makes a perfect gift for young children. When used by multiple children at the same time, it can create valuable collaboration skills. A great way to keep children away from the TV and encourage them to use their motor skills, logical thinking, and problem-solving abilities while having fun. 

Finally, with over 130 pieces your child can make the coaster of their dreams. Also includes four marble balls. Find step-by-step instructions to help children set up the roller coaster. You may need to help them if they are very young.

If your child likes the set, you can expand with a similar size set for more fun.

Issues 

The set does not offer a storage container and you will need to purchase something to store the set in, like a shoebox size container container.

The marbles do not include a lot of weight and you may want to find better marbles.

Choose from small, medium, or large, to get the best-sized marble run to stir his or her creativity.

Issues

A few buyers said they wished they bought more sets, so consider purchasing two sets or a larger set so the whole family has plenty of pieces to work with. 

Keep in mind that only the marbles glow-in-the-dark; the marble run itself does not.

ROKR Marble Run Wooden Model Kit

ROKR Marble Run Wooden Model Kits 3D Puzzle Mechanical Puzzles for Teens and Adults(Waterwheel Coaster)
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If you have younger and older children in the house, then the ROKR Marble Run Wooden Model Kits 3D Puzzle Might be the perfect option for your family. First, let your teenager build the 3-D mechanical puzzle. Second,  let your younger child use the marble run with your teenager. 

Even though the puzzle works as a marble run, it also serves as a bonding experience for an adult and a child. Needless to say, it serves as a valuable learning tool for multiple family members. If you don’t have a teenager, this could be a weekend project for mom or dad and their children to work as a team and figure out this complex model.

Finally, after the wooden puzzle is built, you can use it as an interesting home decor piece that all children want to come over and try out.

Filled with different operations, the puzzle includes gears, cranks, elevators, and tracks for the metal marbles to wind their way through. Everything you need comes in the box set, from instructions for putting together the wood pieces in about thirty minutes.

Issues 

I think taking the pieces out of the cut-out can be challenging, as they are made of wood. However, do not allow young children to use the set alone. The wood can splinter if not taken out of the cut-out with care. 

MindWare Marble Run with Motorized Elevator

MindWare Marble Run (Motorized Elevator)
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What’s better than a marble run? A marble run with a motorized elevator! The MindWare Marble Run with Motorized Elevator includes 110 pieces to build an enviable marble maze. This stem toy teaches physics fundamentals, problem-solving, and creativity.

If your child is up for the challenge, purchase add-on sets or even a water set to make bath time a lot of fun. Your child can build no-hassle creations with towers and funnels for marbles to glide through. They can start with the marble elevator by placing the marble on the elevator, cranking it all the way up, and watching their design work.

Lastly, inside the box, you will find 82 track pieces, 15 marbles, and 13 motorized elevator pieces. This marble run requires two AA batteries which are not included for the elevator.

Find lesson plans children ages four and up to get the full learning benefit and challenge young minds. 

Issues 

While the set is made for ease of use for little children, the pieces do not stay together as well as one would hope and the marble run may fall apart if your child does not use enough pressure.

Also, this does not come with included instructions. Go to the MindWare website for the lesson plans.

FAQs about Marble Runs

How can I help my child make a stable marble run?

The best way to make sure that the marble run is stable is to avoid too much height.

Like the game Jenga, once the pieces are too high up they lose their stability and begin to topple. You’ll have to play around with the structure to find the right height.

Also, make sure each piece fits properly into the previous piece. If your child rushes through making the marble run, it will topple. Take the time to teach them patience and thoroughness. Sit down with them and show them how the extra work benefits their marble runs. 

Can I help my child learn more from a marble run than building? 

Absolutely. Marble runs help children to learn valuable skills like cause-and-effect along with so many other benefits.

Most importantly though, marble runs show the necessity for patience and hard work for a payout.

Building the marble run is just one step in the process:

  1. During the planning stage, kids need to decide to follow instructions or make their own marble run.
  2. Your child has to implement their design or the design that they have chosen.
  3. Kids will need to deal with any little issues along the way. These issues include pieces not fitting or missing, or other complications.
  4. Kids have to plan their time around their schedule.

After all of the steps, your child can now watch their marble go through the marble maze. All of these elements add up to a valuable learning experience. 

What’s the best age to let a child use a marble run?

The best age for a marble run is probably between the ages of six and ten years old.

If your child is younger, use a preset up marble run. They can still learn cause-and-effect as they watch the marble on the pre-made track.

For building sets, wait until your child is at least six. However, they may lose interest after the age of 10 unless you buy a very impressive set and they are dedicated fans. 

Final Thoughts About Marble Runs

The MindWare Marble Run with Motorized Elevator offers an one of the best marble runs with an added bonus. A motorized elevator takes this marble run to a new level while also providing new and exciting learning experiences for your child.

Help your child improve their problem-solving skills and learn patience along with a focus for the great payout of an epic track for marbles. Finally, marble runs make the perfect birthday or holiday gift for boys and girls. 


Adrina Palmer is a stay-at-home-mom to three wonderful children and a wife to an amazing husband. She has a bachelors degree in Religion from Liberty University and works as a blogger, copywriter, and reviewer. Adrina is a Christian hoping to help other stay-at-home moms find the joy and simplicity as a mother and wife. In her free time she enjoys many crafts, writing, spending time with family, and reading. She would love to hear from you!



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