A marble run has been on our wishlist for the kids for a while now. At the doctor’s office Alice always played with the wooden marble run (a zig-zag marble roller) so I knew she would love it.

 

At the natural parenting fair in Holland I spotted the Cuboro tracks. Cuboro is exclusively manufactured of Swiss beech wood.
This wood is FSC accredited, which means that this wood comes from exemplary cultivated forests.
It’s a building system for all ages, creating a marble track where the marbles go over / under and even through the building blocks.

 

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We have the Cuboro Cugolino basic set, which contains 37 elements (some coloured) and 6 marbles. The age recommendation of this set is 3+.
The other Cuboro products have a 5+ recommendation, so this set is a nice start for younger children and when they get older you can buy the ad on sets or a basic 5+ set for more multi dimensional fun.
The box contains a stringbag with the parts. This is also easy for storage and you can take it with you on a holiday. The first time Alice (who turns 3 next month) saw it she tried the different cubes to see what happens when you put a marble in it, there are some elements where the marble goes through with a curved tunnel or picks up speed because of the shape.

 

Building a track requires patience. Alice sometimes nudges the track when she’s playing with it, which causes the parts to move and she needs to line it up again.
This can get frustrating, but soon she learned to be more careful in her play.
Some elements can be used to create crossing courses, but Alice tends to create just one line.
Here’s a video of the first times they played with the track:

 


If you need inspiration, there are instructions books available to help you get going.
We googled an image of the Cugolino set to build the same track. It was fun to see Celine (4,5) and Alice work together to pick out the parts they needed and put it in to place.
For the 5+ series there’s an online track-designer, where you can select your building set, pick a track someone else created or just create on yourself.
Every time they play with the set, they build different tracks. With two kids I would suggest getting extra marbles (you can order them separately), because it’s fun to have more marbles on the track (according to my girls). They decided to add the Grimm’s wooden toy beads they have, but they are a bit small and lightweight so they don’t pick up the same speed as the marbles do.
I love to help Celine and Alice to build a more complex track, to use the different functions of the elements to create something fun.
I think the 5+ Cuboro basic set will be on our wish list for Celine’s 5th birthday next year, or maybe just one of the supplementary sets with some tube system elements.
For the 3+ Cugolino set you can also find supplementary sets. For example there’s a set with a hammer catapult, to experiment with weight, energy, gravity and acceleration, or a set with trampoline-elements to let the marbles bounce.

 

The pricing of this basic set is around 135 euro, some of the supplementary sets are priced around 42-55 euro, but other (bigger) supplementary sets cost 110-120 euro.
(I’ve seen these prices in German & Dutch webshops, I’m not familiar with the pricing in other countries)
Do I think you need supplementary sets to build a good track? No. The basic set really offers enough possibilities for endless play and fun.

 

Here’s another video:

 

 

And some pictures:

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