Marble Homes is marble run game designed to teach kids about how rolling marbles can interact with basic shapes.
Kids can choose which house they want the marble to go home to, and then create a path out of basic shapes to get the marble home. Kids learn about how each shape can uniquely manipulate the path of a marble.
The different house designs expose kids early to the diverse range of homes and environments where people live.
Marble Homes is made from laser cut basswood held together with wood glue.
With the goal of designing an educational toy for children, I looked to see how I could make an engaging and thought provoking game simple enough for ages 4+.
I prototyped two chipboard and foam-core models before I built the toy out of wood. The toy features three slots from which to drop the marble, square pegs on the board to limit the orientations of the shapes, as well as five different slots where a home could be inserted as the goal.
The game is meant to focus the child's attention on manipulating the shapes on the board. To keep that focus, I limited the amount of options in other parts of the game such as how the ball is dropped and where the goals could be.
Square pegs are meant to teach kids about the characteristic properties of each shape. If the kids could configure the shapes in unlimited orientations, they would most likely rotate the squares to make more triangles, and perhaps not even utilize the circles. By constraining the orientations of the shapes, kids will creatively think about how they can use square and circles in conjunction with triangles to create the path to their home.
Marble Homes is an engaging educational toy that teaches kids about how to utilize different shapes to create a path home.