Saturday, 13 December 2014

Fifth day of Christmas - Wooden Marble Run

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me FIIIIIIVE gold marbles...

Another fantastic guest post by Sara Dorman, this time including video! I need to up my blogging game.

Price: £9.99

Score (out of 5): 5

Review: The marble run has been one of our most successful Christmas presents. Don't be misled by the brightly coloured wooden blocks, or the 3-10 labelling. It's not a toy for toddlers. It is best suited to the 5-7 range - and may need some parental or grandparental assistance to make it fully successful.

If, like us, you've not encountered a marble run in childhood, it's a very basic wooden toy, but requires calm hands and focus. There's a short video below if you want to see them in action. On the whole it is a co-operative rather than a competitive game - a nice contrast to endless games of Monopoly, especially for us #middleclassparents.

There are plastic versions around and other places to get them, but the Lidl version's solid wood has a lovely, classic feel, and, as you would expect, the price is more then competitive. You can easily pay £20 on for a similar new set, and used ones are for sale on ebay for £10, while really elaborate sets range from £60 to £150.

I grabbed the last two in stock a couple of years ago, one as a present for our children and one for a friend's child. At the time, I felt a bit sheepish about giving a present from Lidl, but this one is a real keeper. It's not a toy to leave out, as it will get lost, but an ideal one to bring out on rainy days, or when grandparents are visiting over the holidays.

In fact, we liked it so much, that we got another set secondhand - the video below shows my recent creation using a combination of the two sets:

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