As a father of three very active children, I look across a veritable sea of discarded and outgrown toys, games, and activities every time I trek through the garage to my car. It always occurs to me that I should figure out a way to repurpose some of these leaning towers of misfit toys before I get buried in an avalanche of brightly colored plastic and foam.
One of the items in particular catches my eye every time I squeeze into the drivers compartment. Itâ€™s bright, itâ€™s campy, and itâ€™s still in great condition. Itâ€™s a marble kids game rugs game that was purchased for my son before he had the hand to eye coordination to use marbles for anything other than nose plugs. For most people, playing a game of marbles now-a-days would be akin to playing with a hoop and stick for my generation. I remember growing up and collecting marbles with the exact same fervor that my son collects PokÃ©mon cards.
The thought of this activity would not leave me. I located a place that sold large scale ball bearing for my â€œsteeliesâ€ purchased a â€œbag oâ€™ marblesâ€ from Toys R Us and set about dust busting that old kids play carpet. My son, who is now 11, was skeptical when I asked him to come play marbles, as if I had asked him to make a rubber band banjo (hmm. . . that may be a future project now). Soon, we were haggling over who got what â€œshooterâ€, â€œIâ€™ll give you the big steelie, if I can have the aggie and the marble with the flag in itâ€, â€œIf you get the first pick, I get the next two picks.â€ After a while the ruckus we were causing drew in my 13 and 15 year old daughters. My wife even got into the act bringing up snack and lemonade that we ate right on that carpet with no fear because THAT IS WHAT IT WAS MADE FOR!
My intention was to try and re-use, rather than throw away a garage relic. I gained an activity that my whole family enjoys AND I found that MatsMatsMats sells this online as well as several other kids activity mats. I will be buying the Parcheesi marble game mat for our new family game night that does not require a computer, game console or even electricity.