This Transparent Marble Run made by Quercetti Toys is an excellent example of how educational toys do not necessarily need to incorporate reading and writing. This toy fosters the development of problem solving skills and logical thinking in children ages 4 and up. It also encourages children to make a hypothetical plan and then to test it out.
My 6yr old son has had the opportunity to play with another marble run toy at school. He thinks this one is so much cooler because all the chutes and tubes are transparent, whereas the one at school only allows the marbles to be visible on the chutes. Another difference which has impressed my son is that the included marbles are all swirl marbles rather than solid colored glass.
Among the 45 pieces in this set, you will find 10 chutes, 14 tubes, and 10 marbles (although our box contained 12 marbles).
You will also find two identical circular pieces that act as both a release and a trap. These pieces are placed at the beginning and the end of the path your child designs. Of course, your child can add other ways for the marbles to enter the marble run. The more places to drop the marbles in the better according to my son.
Another thing that adds to the coolness factor of this toy is the pair of mill wheels that spin when the marbles pass through.
Please take a minute to watch this toy in action:
Here are the two mazes my son designed the first day we opened this toy. He has played with it everyday after school since. He's even begun to utilize other objects to work around some of the toy's limitations, such as using wooden bricks for extra supports. If you have the opportunity, I would recommend buying two sets. It would be so much fun to build something twice this size where the marbles have a long winding path to follow.
You can find this and other great battery-free toys at Growing Tree Toys. For a limited time, you can receive Free Ground Shipping on U.S. orders over $75. To learn more about this company, look for Growing Tree Toys on Facebook and visit the Growing Tree Toys Blog.
Thank you to Growing Tree Toys for providing this sample toy free of charge for us to base this review upon.