A bag of old-fashioned marbles can give children an early glimpse into the wonders of maths and physics, with their geometric patterns and varying sizes and speeds. Their unpredictable movements over uneven surfaces can inspire new games (try rolling them through the bobbles on a manhole cover), then there’s all the counting, sorting and opportunities for trade they provide. The important skill of gamesmanship (taking turns, being patient, and a gracious loser) can also flourish in a game of marbles, and they are a great way to build fine and gross motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination, from knuckling and flicking to putting every last one back in the bag.
About The Author
I'm Alexis, father of four and founder of One Hundred Toys, Get Set Five and A Year With My Child. I taught in London primary schools for thirteen years, specialising in the early years. I studied at the Institute of Education, part of the University of London, both for my PGCE and my as-yet-unfinished masters. I'm especially interested in schemas and how they help us understand the motivations behind toddlers' play.