I love marble runs and this marble run for toddlers is one of the best for kids under the age of 4.
Most marble runs are for older children and even adults, but not the Castle Marbleworks marble run!
A marble run is technically a cause and effect toy. I am by no means against these types of toys but I tend to prefer and recommend more open ended toys for the purpose of language development and learning.
However, that being said, cause and effect toys are great for children under the age of 4. But, make sure you have a wide variety of toys in your child’s toy-box.
I would much rather a child learn cause and effect via a toy than an app on a phone/tablet.
What Makes Castle Marbleworks A Great First Marble Run?
I used this toy often in my speech therapy sessions with children 4 and under for several reasons.
The children all looked forward to playing with this toy. Although it is quite simple it has so many benefits.
Here are some skills that your toddler can learn while he is having fun playing with Castle Marbleworks:
- my turn, your turn, who’s next?
- The entire marble run is made up of the colors blue, red, green and yellow. These are great first colors to teach/learn.
- ball, door, stop, go, up, down, open, close, in, out, through, first, last, etc.
- Where did the ball go?
- What color is the ball?
- Which ball will come out first? Close the castle door and take a guess! Or, predict the paths each ball will take.
- Keep in mind that prediction could be challenging for a toddler. But if there is an older sibling this is something that they could do!
- Each piece of the Castle Marbleworks set comes apart and can be configured differently. You can build a short castle or a tall castle.
- Also a great way to practice hand-eye coordination.
Fine Motor Skills
- Practice picking up and releasing the ball which is the perfect size for small hands. Not to small to be swallowed, but big enough that a 12-24 month old can grasp it firmly.
- Please note: the manufacturers recommended age for this product is 2+. I have used this toy with children between 12 and 18 months. If using it with a child under the age of 2 make sure an adult is present.
- Watch the balls move down the tracks.
- First the ball is there but if you close the castle door, the ball disappears. See if your little one knows to open the door to find the ball!
- As your child gets older the castle can be used for more than just marbles/balls. Your child can use dolls/figurines to explore the castle.
- For example, a fireman can use his ladder to climb all the way to the top of the castle to rescue the cat that is stuck at the very top. The possibilities are endless!
Practice Speech Sounds
- Castle Marbleworks is perfect for working on first sounds such as “b” as in “ball”, “d” as in “down”, “door”, and “o” as in “open”.
- You can also get animated and interactive by including sounds such as “weeee” as the ball rolls down the tracks. Or say “uh oh” when the ball disappears and wait for your child’s reaction!
What Is Included With This Marble Run?
You will get 3 balls (each is a different color and they are weighted with chimes) and 8 sturdy components that make up the marble run (all BPA free).
You and your child can configure the set however you wish!
Here is a great video of Castle Marbleworks in action!
There are other brands of toddler marble runs available for younger children who are not yet old enough for a more traditional marble run.
However, I know from personal experience that this is a durable toy that will last many years.
It is made of BPA free plastic and is made with your child’s safety in mind. You can also get replacement balls through Discovery Toys.
According to some reviews, you can use golf balls if the original balls go missing and you do not want to order replacement balls.
But a word of caution, golf balls can hurt when thrown and they can also cause damage. So, if you choose to replace missing balls with golf balls, make sure you are around your child while he is playing with this marble run!
Does your child have a marble run or is this a toy you would get for your child?