When parents ask me for a recommendation for their child 8 years and older, I immediately share Ravensburger’s Gravitrax, an interactive marble run and construction set that entertains and draws on so many skills, essential to the classroom and later work life. I can put out my Starter Set and Expansion Sets and watch my friends, 8, 10 and 12 years old start designing and building their own marble run, building out and up, stacking various tiles and platforms to anchor the tracks. It is fun to sit back and watch kids experiment with different builds and modify, collaborate, negotiate, and solve problems to make the marble run efficiently based on gravity, magnetism and kinetics. This is a perfect storm between STEM and Language Skills as kids are talking about their options and results while building and modifying their structure to perform optimally. Their new Trampoline Accessory was a huge hit at the New York Toy Fair with adults as well as with kids when I got home. Who wouldn’t want to add a trampoline to the route, watching the ball bounce and land perfectly to continue its run? The specially angled height tiles allow the marble to take off on an angle for the next landing and bounce on the trampoline. When I told the boys that I didn’t realize that two tile pieces are angled, they stopped just long enough to reply, “That’s why they are cool!” Then they went right back to directing options for the build, “We need two more right here.” There’s no end to the fun learning with Gravitrax!

Available at Ravensburger