Teach Physics with Glow In the Dark Marble Run

Every day I consider myself lucky when a toy box arrives. I have searched out the best toy companies when I attended the 2020 New York Toy Fair and have been super lucky to review some toys from them this year. I found National Geographic when they were promoting their Blockaroo toys, also a great toy. They asked me if I wanted to review a couple other toys other and I jumped at the chance. We are all about STEM here especially with my kids home 3 days from school a week for now.

The toy that I am going to review today is the National Geographic Glow In the Dark Marble Run. I have a funny story to tell. I actually bought something very similar during Target's summer toy clearance. I was going to give it to my kids for Christmas, but then they found it in the car where it was supposed to be hiding. The more I looked at it the more I decided I did not want it. It had button batteries on each marble piece. I have a small child so that was not an option. This set has ONE piece with a button battery, but it is screwed inside a light. It can be hidden away which is music to this mom's ears.

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Find this on Amazon

What's Inside the Box
The National Geographic Glow In the Dark Marble run set comes with 30 glow in the dark balls, 120 construction pieces, 1 UV Light Keychain, 1 storage bag, and 1 learning guide. Can I say how much I love the storage bag? It makes for easy cleanup which this mom loves. 

There are other size sets available.
How Does It Work?
Once the set is built the light can be pointed at the balls. This will cause them to glow in the dark.
How To Build
See that picture below? That is all the examples that were given in the instructions. At first I was like what? But then we turned the pages and we saw lots more information on the physics behind the marble run. It gives a five page learning guide that can easily be turned into a physic lesson or more than one. It talks about velocity, acceleration, deceleration, impediments etc. It also has a table to try to fin the fastest marble run and slowest marble run.

One thing that bugs me about toys is many times toys can only be played with one way or are only designed to be played with one way. Legos are this way. They are not super opened ended. They could be but I feel like the collecting market has taken ahold of Lego and they sell super custom sets. Not as many sets focused on open ended play and design. This marble kit can be designed many many different ways. The more kids play with it the more they learn how the pieces work together. This is great! It ended up being a good thing there was not a "set" way to build this set.

I also want to comment on how well these pieces go together. I had a friend that tried to put a marble run together like it was on the box. There was only one way and for the life of her she could not. We had to wiggle and everything to get it to fit. This National Geographic set fits together very well.

This is the first construction my son attempted. He found the marbles did not fall the way he wanted. But because he first built it and then observed what happened (scientific method, a whole another lesson that could be taught) he found out how to build it better the next time he built it.
This was my daughters first attempt at design.
And the next attempt.
Here is the final attempt at design. The kids took the previous lessons they had learned and applied it to making the optimal set. 
What Did We Think?
This set is great. I would highly recommend. There are many marble runs out there, but this one is unique in that it is opened ended, fits together nicely and is glow in the dark. How could one go wrong with that? 

I liked how it was a toy that did not need excessive adult supervision and help. Those toys are good, but sometimes the adult does more of the playing.

And lastly there are many great homeschool lessons from this toy Physics, the Scientific Method and Light Properties with the glow in the dark balls.

This would make a great Christmas, birthday or learning toy for kids!

Here is the back of the box for more info and Find it on Amazon.

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