Part wall decoration, part challenging toy, VertiPlay Marble Run, from Oribel, is all fun. 

Three larger pieces of the toy stick to the wall, and then other pieces in various shapes can be hooked onto the base. The object is for kids to make a course for the included marbles to travel safely to the bottom. There are levers, spinning crosses, slides, and even a funnel for the ball to travel through on its way to the bottom.

Fair warning: It’s not easy. Kids will have to retry a few times, possibly losing track of the balls in the process. If the pieces aren’t placed just right, the ball can bounce off or fall straight to the floor. We admittedly created a pretty small run, and it arguably gets a bit easier the more pieces you stick to the wall. To get started, place the Marble Run on a wall that is above the carpet, or put a small pillow on the ground below it if the loud noise becomes a bother. It’s all part of the learning experience. Kids are encouraged to think critically and develop their spatial skills as they play. If one plan doesn’t work — try again! If it does work — try again anyway!

Families can also work together for a more challenging game night. Figure out one way to get the ball traveling? Unhook the pieces and do it again! There are more than 100 ways to arrange all the parts. You can also peel the main piece off of the wall and rearrange it. 

When kids aren’t playing, the STEM toy looks great on the wall. There’s no need for cleanup which makes it a great option for families with limited space. It has a grey hexagon base with colorful green, blue, and yellow pieces. The Triple Fun Set comes with three hexagons, but there are a variety of sets starting at $59. Check out the video below to see what kids can accomplish.