Kids love marble raceways, and now Learning Resources has come up with a different twist that requires children to experiment and think even more as they construct their raceway. Tumble Trax™ Magnetic Marble Run has 14 magnetized foam pieces in various shapes and sizes, ten activity cards, and four marbles. When used, the foam pieces will sometimes touch each other and sometimes be spaced apart. One piece serves as a “catcher”at the end of the track.
Children place the pieces on any upright flat surface to which magnets will attach. (As with other magnets, be careful of scratching refrigerator surfaces.) A magnetized whiteboard will work, but I found the side of my large filing cabinet to be perfect.
The kit is suggested for ages five and up because it takes some thinking about how to adjust the foam pieces to cause the marble to jump just the right distance in the desired direction as it rolls down the raceway. The activity cards give children an idea of patterns to set up to get started, but even with the cards children need to figure out the actual spacing that will work. Some children won’t need the cards; they’ll jump right in and figure it out on their own. Older children will enjoy it, but I think it's probably perfect for about ages five through nine.
The foam pieces are three-fourths of an inch thick with a magnet on the back and clear plastic on the front. The clear plastic extends about three-fourths of an inch above the foam to form the track. Shapes are straight, curved, and wavy so they produce different effects.
I can’t imagine a child who won’t love Tumble Trax, and adults will want to have their turn playing with it as well. This is a terrific learning resource, but it is so much fun that it would make a great birthday or Christmas gift.