HomeGreat GiftsGolden Apple Awards

Best learning toys ages 6 to 8

From winding marble runs to interactive talking maps, these Golden Apple Awards 2011 put the fun back in school smart.

By GreatSchools Staff

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Marble Run Vortis

Appeals to age 4-10
What it teaches: engineering fundamentals around cause-and-effect relationships and interconnections

The magic of gravity and colored plastic are put to good use with this elaborate multi-faceted marble run. Though kids will no doubt love playing with it – the real learning comes from putting it together and making it work. Kids of all ages thought this toy was exciting. One of the testers who received the toy to play with exclaimed before it was even out of the box: “Thank you thank you thank you!”

Be forewarned, though. For those of you hoping that toys amount to parental leisure time, this may not satisfy. One of our parent testers confessed: “My child wasn’t the only one who learned something!”

Bottom line: A great family project that makes a big impression on little minds.

Where to get it: Marble Run Vortis