While I was getting breakfast this morning, Dustyfeet was playing with some marbles. She laid them all out in a line. Then she arranged them very neatly in pairs, placing a plastic link around them to make sure that they were in just the right place. Then she discovered that they made a really interesting noise, and rolled in exciting ways, on the upturned tin that they had been stored in.
After breakfast, as she still wanted to play with the marbles, I gave her a frying pan so that she could see how the marbles behaved differently than in the tin.
They made a great noise, and she was very excited to discover that if she rocked the frying pan in a certain way, the marbles ran all around the edge of it in a “marble train”.
Later, she experimented with rolling the marbles over the perforated bottom of the frying pan…
… and discovered that the handle made a very satisfactory “marble slide”.
I love play ideas that grow out of the child’s own interests and discoveries, rather than having to come out of my head! I’m sure we could extend this and do a whole lot more with marbles, but even this simple play kept us very happily occupied for a good portion of a very wet and windy morning in Gulf Town.
I’d recommend using large marbles like the ones shown for young children. Dustyfeet still puts a frightening variety of items in her mouth, but not one marble went in – presumably because they were just a bit too big to fit comfortably into her cheeks!