February 24, 2011
Marbles! So fun, so great to collect, so many games to play! Here are a couple of our favourite marble activities. Note: it’s best to shoot marbles in the sand, dirt or on carpet. These surfaces slow the marbles down. Marbles tend to go too fast on hardwood or tile!
1. Good old Ringer. This is a classic game for any number of players. Draw a circle in the sand, in the dirt or make a ring with string on carpet. The circle should be anywhere from 3 ft to 6 feet across – the larger the circle, the harder the game will be. Each player puts an agreed upon amount of marbles inside the ring. Players take turns shooting at the marbles in the ring with a shooter marble. A player can shoot their marble from anywhere on the circle’s edge. The object is to bump a marble outside the circle. The player gets to keep each marble they knock out of the ring and gets to go again until he/she misses. Continue taking turns until all the marbles have been shot out of the circle. The player with the most marbles wins the game. Players should decide in advance if they are playing for keeps or will return each others marbles at the end of the game!
2. Marble Toss game. For this, you’ll need an egg carton and a marker. Write “15” in the bottom of one egg section, “10” in two sections, “5” in three sections, and “1” in the remaining six sections. If playing indoors, place the egg carton on a carpeted area, rug or lay a towel down to absorb the shock of the bouncing marbles. Each player tosses an agreed upon number of marbles into the egg carton from about 5 feet away. Adjust the distance depending on the skill of the players. Each player tosses their marbles, one at a time, into the egg carton and then adds up their score. The player with the most points is the winner! Image and game rules via TLC Family
3. Marble arch game. For this, you’ll need either a wooden marble arch or you can make one yourself out of any cardboard you have lying around. Each player shoots an agreed upon number of marbles through the arches. The player collects the points of the arch they shoot their marble through. The player with the most points wins!
There are a lot of ways you can make the arch. You can make the arches bigger or smaller depending on the skill of the shooter, and you can assign any point numbers above the arches. For older children, use larger numbers that are more difficult to add or even fractions for more of a challenge. It’s up to you! You can also decorate the arch with any number of materials: crayons, paints, stickers, markers and so on. The arches can be monsters’ mouths or train tunnels or anything else you can imagine.
Here’s how we made our arch:
We used regular cardboard, a ruler to evenly space the arches, scissors, glue, paints and a black marker. First, draw the shape of the arch board on cardboard and cut it out. Then, space out and draw five arches and cut those out.
Now make some feet for the arch board to stand up on. Cut out two triangular feet (like picture frame stands) with tabs and glue to the back of the arch board so it will stand up. Wait for the glue to dry before decorating.
Now the fun part! Decorate however you wish. Paint, colour, draw, use stickers – whatever you fancy!
Number each arch with a point amount with a marker. You’re ready to play!
If you have any favourite marble games you would like to share, we would love to hear from you!