Playing with marbles is a timeless activity that has rolled through the generations. Providing hours of fun, imaginative play and competitive gaming, glass marbles as we know them today have been around since the early 1900s. However, small, marble-like clay balls, examined by archaeologists, have been excavated from Egyptian tombs and some suggest marbles may have even been present as far back as the cave people era.
Today, the appeal of the marble hobby endures, offering children a vibrant range of activities, games and striking colours to hold their attention. In fact, modern marbles are not just colourful, they're creatively textured, glittering with iridescent shades and are even inspired by space, asteroids and planets in Shooter Stacks like our Stardust Mixed Marbles from Mojo's Marbles.
But a passion for marbles is not just about playtime, they can also provide children with a multitude of cognitive and developmental benefits as well. At Birdkids, we're rolling out some of our favourite marble-related superpowers that will serve children now and also help to hone and develop skills for the future.
Practising Care & Precision
These are two key skills that often get overlooked in a child's development. The small and fiddly nature of these tiny spheres demands accurate use and diligence to both hold and play with them. Marble games often require care and considered thought, giving children a more nuanced and delicate approach to the physical and tactile world they interact with.
Developing Motor Skills
Hand-eye coordination is the skill of using your hands and eyes at the same time to perform a task and interact with the world - something that marbles can help refine. The combination of overall motor and fine motor skills required in hand-eye coordination can be sharpened by using and playing with marbles, which is key in a child's growth and development. Any marble game that involves catching or accurately flicking a marble to another space or goal area will fine tune their motor skills and strengthen focus and concentration.
House of Marbles Traditional Marble Games is a fun and nostalgic set, providing children with limitless opportunities for learning and development.
Stretching Social Skills
Marbles can be a great way to encourage friendships and form social bonds through learning. Children love working together and boys in particular form bonds through playing out fun and engaging activities together. Getting your little ones into the world of marbles is a social centrepoint and will allow children to develop connections in a natural and healthy way through solving problems while also training their communication and language skills.
Training Cognitive Function
Critical thinking, learning, remembering, reasoning and concentrating can all be exercised by using marbles. Winning or beating a game will involve these complex skills and could help train children to use them instead of resorting to tantrums or histrionics due to frustration.
Learning About Competition
Winning games and going through the rigours of competitive play will also help your child understand the rewards and good feelings that come with completing goals. They will also learn more about fairness and mediating certain situations in competitive games which can promote honesty and objectivity.