Unique Products for the Outdoors and Emergency Preparedness

    Why do kids gather around these games and have so much fun?

    The Simple Chutes Marble Run Game

    Marble game
    Marble runs have been around forever. That's probably because they are so much fun. We made this marble game to be an improvement on others we have used.

    First, this run keeps visibility at all times. Put a marble in the top and you see it through the plastic cover all the way to the bottom. Then the marble exits from the upright run to the optional low-profile run. The marbles slow down but run to the end.

    Secondly, it is durable. It is made to last for years. We had a store-bought plastic run. It took two pretty smart moms over three hours to get the thing assembled. Then the marbles ran through its many paths, half of which were at the back and hardly visible. But within an hour, some of the chute pieces had moved a bit, and the marbles were getting stuck. A kid reached in to fix it, and a plastic part broke. Then, we found that the game wouldn't fit on any toy shelf. It stayed in the room taking up floor space - until we finally discarded it because some more pieces broke off.

    This run is 12" X 12" and the optional low profile run is 11.75" X 12" The low profile piece will fit up against the upright run. The whole thing easily stores on a shelf.

    This run is fun right out of the box. And it will be around long enough that kids can use it when they become Grandparents.

    The Marble Race Track

    Marble race game
    Five people can race at once. Keep score on the order that each racer finishes. It is possible to win a match, even if you don't come in first place each time. Just get enough top three finishes, and you can still out-score the other racers.

    Here's how it works: The starting gate has slots for five marbles. You push down the starting lever and the marbles are off toward the rotating wheel marble lift. But they don't all get picked up instantly. They bounce around trying to get into the holes. Occasionally, a marble flies off the game - sort of like a car wreck at the race track. But quickly enough they get picked up and that establishes their order for the first lap. But as the marbles finish their lap around the adjustable chutes, they come back down past the starting gate into the rotating lift again. Here, they can pass each other, depending on which marble gets picked up first. Then another lap ensues. When the last lap is happening, lift the lever, and the marbles will line up in winning order.

    You should decide how many laps the race will be, before you start. It is a lot of fun to see who wins.

    Or race for a set amount of time. Start the time and press the start-finish lever down. Then lift the lever exactly when the time elapses. That might happen right in the middle of a lap. The marble who was running last, can all at once become the winner. Definitely exciting this way.

    The game runs on two AA batteries, and seems to run forever. You won't be changing batteries very often. The game is simple, keeping to its name. And of course, the whole thing can be stored away on a shelf, because the chutes all disconnect, including the starting gate.
    Our grandkids all have electronic games, on phones, iPods and iPads, android tablets, and several kinds of gaming consoles. Some seem addicted to playing video games. But when we bring out the marble games, the dynamic changes. They all start interacting with each other, and having fun together. Adults, teenagers, and young kids can all play together at the same time. We think that there needs to be more dealing with the real physical world, more interacting with each other, more total family type of fun. These marble games are a great way to make that happen.
    Product Description Price
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    The basic Simple Chute as a kit. If you are willing to do some sanding, apply glue strips and attach the plastic face, and screw on the legs and cross-dowels, you can save some money. The run is cut from solid wood, with wooden legs with pre-drilled holes and half-inch dowels with pre-drilled holes in the ends. The exit slot is already cut in the plastic face. A dozen marbles are included.

    $44.95

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    The basic Simple Chute. It is fun right out of the box. Marbles run from the top into the corral area at the bottom. It is amazing how long it is entertaining to pick up marbles and watch them make the zig-zag run to the bottom of the chute. The run is cut from solid wood, with wooden legs and half-inch dowels. There is no paint, no harmful substances. The marbles themselves can be considered a choking hazard - keep them away from children three years and under. A dozen marbles are included.

    $69.95

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    The low profile Simple Chute is an add-on to the upright chute. It also has a base which lifts the basic chute up enough to create the right amount of slope to keep the marbles running to the bottom. You simply put the basic chute on the wooden base, and then the low profile run has a notch in the back which fits across the dowel on the basic run, keeping everything in place.

    $24.95

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    The Simple Chutes Race game comes with the motorized rotating lift, six chutes, and a starting gate module. It comes with 10 marbles; two each of the five different colors. Since this is for Grandparents, I'm not sure if betting should be allowed. It might not set a good example.

    $199.95

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    Keep score for each race on the Tally Sheet. The championship goes to the racer who finishes best in the most races. It is not necessary to win every race; just consistently finish close to the front. It adds a lot to the fun to keep score across a lot of races.

    Note: the Download button will appear right on your invoice when you check out. Just click it to download the Tally sheet PDF to your computer.

    Free Tally Sheet PDF for you to print out