I found a fabulous little jewel for Little Bear today. I have wanted to buy him a Marble Run for a while now, as it's a fabulous toy that teaches causes and effect. However, with Baby Bear around, it's hard to want to allow marbles in the house.
But when I saw this tiny little marble run ($1 at Michaels), I thought it would be a great little table activity for Little Bear.
This tiny "Marble Racer" comes with tiny marbles, my only complaint about the little set. But I offered the game in a small basket to prevent these tiny marbles from being lost.
I love watching Little Bear's concentration on this activity. At this point, he's too young to be able to move the pieces around to create new experiences, but this can be used as an extention to the game when he's older. Until then, he's happy to play with the marbles for thirty minutes at a time (I take it away a bit early to keep him from getting board with it). I love hearing the sounds of the marble moving around through the holes. My favorite part of a marble run is the ability of the child to watch how the game works (instead of pushing a button and watching lights and sounds turn on automatically).