My grandsons had a sleepover date with us last weekend. The oldest is nine, the middle grandson seven, and the littlest is three and a half. I enjoy planning special activities and crafts when we have time together, and decided the uninviting weather outdoors was the perfect opportunity to introduce them to the classic game of marbles.
Marbles can be played indoors or out. When I was in elementary school we played the game on the playground in a circle drawn in dirt. For our indoor play, we created a circle with a piece of embroidery floss. The classic rules of marbles are abundant in web searches, but we played by our own rules: one shot, no need to shoot with your thumb, a good hard roll with the shooter marble was all the skill that was needed.
What is a shooter marble? It’s the largest of all the marbles, a bit like the cue ball in a game of pool. The shooter is used for knocking other marbles out of the circle. When you knock a marble out…it is yours to keep. We were shocked at how well the three year old played. He came close to winning most of the marbles, but came in second place to his dad.
Marbles come in many colors and designs. In a canister you might find cat’s-eye marbles, clear, with a swirl of color in them. Fancier opaque varieties that resemble planets in the solar system are also in the canister, but in lesser quantities. These mango-tango cat’s eye, a perfect choice for today’s Color Your World – 120 Days of Crayola challenge, were purchased in a local craft store. I bought our big canister for under three dollars with a 40% off coupon.