A marble run is such classic kids toy, isn’t it? We are trying to avoid plastic as much as we can in our house and when I was on the hunt for a marble run for my 3 year old daughter I came across Swiss brand Cuboro who manufactures the most beautiful wooden marble run blocks and I instantly fell in love with them. We have been lucky enough to try out the Cuboro Cugolino marble run set as well as the supplementary set Cuboro Cugolino Pop in exchange for an honest review.
The different sets
The blocks are made from solid beech wood and are exclusively produced in Switzerland in an environmentally safe way using regional resources as far as possible. Cuboro offers different sets of blocks that can all be combined with each other. You can choose between 4 different basic sets and 9 supplementary sets.
The Cuboro Cugolino basic set which we have is a great way to get you started. It comes with 37 different blocks, 6 marbles and a handy storage bag and is marketed for kids from the age of 3 years up.
You can then add on supplementary sets with different degrees of complexity, starting from a simple set of plain building blocks to a set with magnetic elements that allows you to build bridges or another one that has got hidden tracks inside the blocks to build tunnels to the “Cugolino Profi Set” where the multiple functions of blocks allow you to build tracks in which the marble rolls through the same cube twice or even three times.
We got the “Cugolino Pop” which comes with 13 blocks and 6 marbles. 3 of the blocks are basically mini-trampolines with a natural rubber surface which make the marbles jump when they fall onto it. This set is marketed from 5 years on as it is a bit more tricky to incorporate this into the run.
You can see why Cuboro also calls their marble run “the marble track for a life time” – the blocks really captivate small children, older children and adults equally.
How the Cuboro marble run works
The concept of the Cuboro marble run is based on single wooden track blocks. Unlike most other marble runs in the market (especially the plastic ones) the blocks don’t clip together but you build runs by stacking the blocks and aligning them in whatever structure you like to create the marble run.
I was a bit worried if my 3 year old daughter would be able to align the tracks well enough for the marble to run through but with a bit of trial an error she quickly figured out how to build simple tracks all by herself. Yes, it is definitely more challenging compared to runs where the pieces just clip together but this for me just makes the Cuboro marble run more interesting.
Because the blocks don’t interlink you can integrate other items like books or other wooden blocks into the structure to make an even bigger run which makes the Cuboro a truly open ended toy that will capture the interest of children (and adults) of all ages! It’s also great to train 3-dimensional thinking, problem solving and practice those fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination as one needs to be infinitely more careful to not knock the structures over.
My daughter for example loves adding in some Grimm’s wooden blocks when building a marble run and equally she also uses her Cuboro blocks to build other constructions like towers, houses etc. in conjunction with her other wooden toys (e.g. her Flockmen).
We totally love our Cuboro marble run and my daughter doesn’t get tired trying to build ever new constructions with it – and me and the husband don’t mind getting involved too to be honest. It is a truly open-ended toy that can be played with by individuals or in groups and will challenge children of all age groups.
Purchasing a high quality wooden marble run like the Cuboro Cugolino is of course more of an investment compared to just buying a more affordable plastic set, but in my opinion it is definitely worth it (plus so much better for the environment). The set is so well made that it will last and be played with for years to come and can then be passed on to the next generation and it’s one of these toys that are also super fun for parents to get involved with too.
It’s also a great toy to add to over time at birthdays or for Christmas and you can go for more advance supplementary sets as your kids grow older to keep the run interesting for them.
So yes, I would definitely recommend the Cuboro marble run!
The marble run has kindly been sent by Cuboro in exchange for an honest review.