The Marble Track is certainly a “fan favorite” around the clinic! The kids love it because it is fun and they can create something new each time! The therapists love it because there are so many different goals that can be addressed with just one toy! Check out a few ways below to use a Marble Track in your home to promote and encourage therapy goals:

  1. Fine Motor Skills/Strengthening: Marble tracks consist of many pieces that are to be combined. Building the track is great way to practice hand strength by pushing and pulling pieces together. The marbles can also be used to practice in-hand manipulation by moving the marbles from the palm to the fingertips to move down the track.

  2. Visual Motor/Perceptual Skills: Marble track sets may have pictures to help with building and construction. A child can practice copying from a model/picture to create their own track. This skill builds important visual perceptual skills for school and classroom participation.

  3. Bilateral coordination: Manipulating and building pieces of the marble track requires the ability to use both sides of the body in an organized and coordinated manner. Children incorporate this skill by using both sides of the body to pick up and push track pieces together or by using both sides to stabilize one piece in order to stack it onto the other. Bilateral coordination is an important skill that is incorporated into dressing tasks, feeding, fine motor, and gross motor skills.

  4. Requesting and Negation: Keep the pieces in a clear bag or container. This way your child can see the pieces, but you get to hold onto them. Withhold the pieces until they make a request, using a practiced phrase if needed, such as “I want the _____.” Practicing negation can be addressed by presenting two or three options and asking your child to hand you the piece that is not _____ (ex: given a blue, green and yellow piece you can say to your child “Hand me a piece that is not blue”).

  5. Basic Concepts: The Marble Track easily lends itself to working on basic concepts such as color, size, and descriptors. Keep your track pieces in a container and take turns picking out one or two pieces at a time. You can then identify what you have by its color or size (ex: You can ask “Which is bigger?” while holding up a single cylinder piece and three pieces already connected). Some simple descriptors or actions can also be introduced (ex: This piece is straight. This piece is round. This piece spins. This piece is zigzagged).

  6. Following directions:This can be done in many ways. You can give verbal directions (“1st, 2nd….” Or “Before/After”) for your child to follow or change it up and have them be the “teacher” or director and tell you what to do and in what order. This activity can be modified with written instructions, or you can use pictures to make a visual schedule of the order.

  7. Prepositions: The Marble Track is a great way to start talking about various prepositions (words that tell about an object’s location, such as: on/ontop under, next to, between, over…). While building, you and your child can talk about which piece is going under or over/on top of the next piece. You or your child can direct the other on where the next pieces should go. After building the track you can play “I spy” (ex: “I spy a blue piece between two red pieces,” “I spy a zigzag piece under a blue piece,” etc.).