With so many toys that have gadgets galore, sing, talk, dance, play videos, it’s nice to have the boys play with a toy that needs a bit more imagination.
Hape Toys sent us the Quadrilla Twist and Rail set. Instantly all three boys wanted to set it up. There is an instruction booklet and my teenager took control and built it just like the picture.
Brady loved sending the marbles flying down and around this but because it was as tall as he is, he ended up knocking it over. Poor Thomas had spent a good 20 minutes building it and was crushed. I told him that now is his opportunity to build it a different way, be inventive!
Each piece has a few ways the marble can travel through it. either dropping from the top, going through, in one side and down… the combinations are literally endless!
Being Mr. Literal, Thomas found another step-by-step way to build and decided to follow the instructions again. Again it came out almost as tall as Brady!
I decided to try my hand at building this and using it with Brady and his therapies. Since there are different colored blocks in the set that send the marbles each a different way, I had him naming the colors as the marble passed through. I also had him working on pincher grasp to put the marbles in and working on cause and effect. A marble drops in, then it shoots out.
Of course he was oblivious to me sneaking in learning and fine tuning his skills. All he cared about was having fun (and the inevitable CRASH at the end of play where he sends the blocks and pieces flying).
Some things I love about this set:
- No batteries needed! finally a toy that takes some thought, innovation and imagination to use.
- Love how the instructions show a few different ways to set up the runs so you can learn how each piece works. After a bit more play my boys will be confident to create their own marble run designs.
- LOVE the company’s focus on sustainable woods, and products good for kids and mother earth alike. Check out their Environmental Responsibility page for more info.
- In addition to the quadrilla sets, they have many other toys made of bamboo or are eco friendly in some way shape an form. I like knowing that these toys are safe, will last a long time and are most of all, fun!
Some things to be aware of in the marble run sets…
- There is a bit of a learning curve to how they are set up, so if you have younger kids, you may be doing a lot of the building.
- The pieces rest and fit into each other, but do not lock in place, so they are easy to knock over, especially if you are an over-zealous four year-old.
- The marbles are small and can be a choking hazard, so please note the 4 and up age recommendations.
- These sets can get pricey. I’ve seen the twist and rail set online for around $150. You might gasp, but I think the price is fair due to the sustainability, durability, longevity and eco-friendliness. You can always ask Grandma to buy them or pitch in. 😉
So there you have it! Our boys have had fun with these marble runs and I can tell that if we are careful and don’t loose too many pieces over the years, their kids will enjoy them too.
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disclosure: I was sent 2 marble run sets from Hape Toys in return for my honest review. No monetary compensation was made. Only 4 marbles have been lost since we started our marble run building crusade. I’m sure they are with wherever those random lost socks end up from the laundry.