On a whim, I one day purchased a box of glass marbles. At first thought when I took them out of the bag at home, I was thinking, I must be out of my mind to bring 60 marbles into the house with two active boys. This could only lead to chaos – complete mayhem. I imagined the marbles being everywhere, on the floor, the boys throwing them around the house, hubby stepping on them at night, kicking them across the floor… If you have kids or remember when you were a kid yourself, then I know you understand! So, I took the box and sat them up on the top shelf in my closet and left them there.
Fast forward at least 6 months and a day – yesterday, to be exact; my younger boy, Tyler happened to find a stray marble around the house. As we have marble run sets within the confines of his room. Within a few minutes, he told me he lost it and asked if I had any marbles. I almost said no and remembered the box of marbles I had sat on the shelf so many months ago.
Tyler’s eyes lit up when he saw me take the clear container of glass marbles down from the shelf. “Marbles!” is what he said in a whisper with a big smile. I didn’t want to just hand the kid a box of 30 marbles so I thought I bet I could teach him how to play marbles on the floor with a piece of yarn tied into a circle like I did when I was a kid.
I love finding games or creating games that help my children to learn. After a quick look at Wikihow’s How to Play Marbles, came up with my own version.
1. A long piece of yarn, tied at the ends to form a circle. Lay it on the floor.
2. Have your child sort the marbles by color and size. (For no particular reason than hey, it’s fun!)
3. Create a design with the marbles within the yarn circle. We took 3 of each color plus a stray blue marble and put them in our circle. Too many marbles in the circle will make for a longer game.
4. Give each color a point value. We gave ours either a 1 or 2 point value and the lonely blue marble was worth 3.
5. Take turns rolling a bigger marble into the other marbles within the circle. Any marbles that come out of the circle on your turn go into your stockpile.
6. Now when we hit a marble out that was 1 point, easier to count up. But when he hit out a marble worth more than 1 point, we would take said marble plus another marble out of our extra marbles. For example, if Tyler has 10 marbles already and then hits out an orange 2 point marble. He would put the orange marble in his pile plus pick up one more in the extra marble pile so now he has 12. And we would keep track as I would say okay, you had 10 marbles and you add two more how many does that make. Or if that was too difficult, I would say ‘Tyler, you had 10 marbles and then add 1 more what is 10 + 1 and he would think and shout out very enthusiastically “11!”
7. We played for a while and he loved every minute of it. He was always so proud of himself when he was able to figure out the addition.
Take this opportunity to not only play with your child, but to help them learn as well. Count by 1’s or 2’s. Sort by color and/or size. What other ways do you and your child play with marbles? Please comment or share! Thank you!