One of my students requested that I put marble works out in the classroom. Our marble works construction set is from Discovery Toys. It is super sturdy and can be assembled in a myriad of ways. This activity provides many learning opportunities for the children...fine motor, problem solving, social interaction, eye tracking, counting and investigative skills (where did that marble roll to?).
Inititially, the children became familiar with the way the pieces fit together, building short, squat creations and giggling as the marbles followed the twists and turns of their path.
Next, they built more elaborate structures, manipulating the pieces to send the marbles in planned directions. This phase required lots of problem solving. I remained close by, to encourage the children and to offer other solutions if frustration was beginning to set in.
Lastly, one group of children wanted to test the limits of the pieces by constructing a gravity defying tower. This was team work at it's best....many hands to provide support, lots of ideas communicated and a room full of giggles when gravity won over the tower!