Monday, August 29, 2011

Marble Mania

It has been Marble Madness week over here.  Merrick has been crazy about marbles for some time now. Since I gave him an extra bag of marbles for his first day of school,  I've had to come up with some ways to actually play with them.

This first project we got from Paris Bourke.  You can find the printable here.  I simply printed off the pattern, colored it with Merrick, then glued it to a shoebox.

This pic here says it all.  

The only problem with this game is that his little brother wanted to join in...and steal all the marbles.  

Here is a {homemade} worksheet we did during our "All About Me" week:

On each marble, there is a word or sentence describing why Merrick is special.  More on this when I post about our All About Me unit.

Merrick has gone on and on lately about wanting to have a funnel for his marble run.  Two days ago, it just hit me: cut off the top of the finished milk jug, and there you go!  Merrick was thrilled.  He was in awe.  He actually said to me, "Mommy, this is the best toy ever."  The top of a milk jug!

This last project was a fun one.  Merrick is saving his money to buy a real fancy marble run (he does chores or "work" around the house to make money).  In the meantime, I thought it would be nice to make a low budget version.  We got our inspiration here. 

Here's how you can make your own marble run:

- a piece of cardboard (I cut the side off a used box)
- hot glue gun and a few extra glue sticks

- jumbo craft sticks
Our Total Cost: $3 (for the craft sticks)

Cut the ends off some of the sticks.  I cut up about 3 - 4 of each color.

Begin to lay out the sticks and formulate a design.

This was a great lesson in critical and creative thinking.  Merrick couldn't just lay the craft sticks anywhere.  He had to think through where the marble would go and how he could best use the space.

After you finish your design, glue the sticks in place.  This is definitely an adult job as one can easily burn oneself with the glue gun (I may or may not be admitting to burning myself several times during this process).

This was our first finished project (below).  After a few test runs, we decided to add some stick borders so that the marbles wouldn't bounce off.  We also found it worked best if it was leaned against the wall a bit.  We also ended up adding a few gadgets, like toilet paper rolls with holes in them, to add some interest.

Here's a video of Merrick enjoying his homemade marble run.  If you watch it, stick through it til the end.  The last few seconds are the cutest.  :)

Let me know if you have any marble games you'd like to share.  We'd love to hear them!


  1. Oh Thank You for this wonderful feedback!!
    And I love your giant marble run, I need to do this with the kids too!Have a nice day!

  2. LOVE the marble run--my boys would FLIP!! They love the fancy ones too. We'll have to try this. Great job!