November 18, 2021 3 min read

It's no secret that we absolutely LOVE the Connetix ball run set. When we first carried it, I was worried it would be frustrating and too delicate for any real use, but luckily I was wrong. The stronger magnets of Connetix tiles make the ball runs possible, and they are SO much fun. It can be a little overwhelming to build your first few ball runs, so we're giving you a few of our favorite tips. PS-- there is now a Rainbow Ball Run Pack and a Pastel Ball Run Pack

1. Browse #connetixballrun on Instagram for inspiration. This is a great way to build your first ball run. Your ball run set comes with an inspiration book, which is great too, but head to Instagram for an almost endless supply of ideas. The two accounts credited below are Connetix ambassadors, so follow them for all sorts of great ideas. 

 Magnetic tile ball run in front of white dresser

Photo credit: @x_macy_and_ollie_x

Tall magnetic tile ball run in front of twin bed

Photo credit: @x_macy_and_ollie_x

Two children outside playing with a Connetix ball run

Photo credit: @these_little_darlings

Connetix ball run

Photo credit: @these_little_darlings

2. Start from the end and work your way back. This lets you test your ball run as you go, and has the added benefit of saving the taller (easier to knock over) parts till the end. 

Little girl playing with a Connetix ball run and smiling

Child's hand reaching into a box for a small wooden ball

We also like to build a little "box" at the end of our ball runs to catch the balls. This way they don't go shooting all over the room. Excuse her fading tattoo bracelet! 

3. Make sure you have enough squares. In my experience, the small square pieces are usually the limiting factor in ball runs. The ball run set doesn't come with any standard Connetix pieces, so you will need at least one additional set. (Side note: yes, Connetix are compatible with other magnetic tile brands, BUT the ball runs are possible because of the stronger magnets of Connetix, so I can't say with certainty that a different brand would be sturdy enough to hold one up.) I recommend either the 100-Piece Creative Pack or the 212-Piece Mega pack, but the real unsung hero of ball runs is the expansion pack. It comes with 36 additional small squares (the Creative Pack and Mega Pack both come with 36 small squares as well) and it's a great cost-effective way to expand your ball run possibilities. 

Little girl in tutu playing with a Connetix ball run

4. Don't get too tall too fast. If you go for too much height too fast, you'll quickly run out of squares or have an unstable build (tall builds are fine for older kiddos, but use caution if you've got a toddler around. We're sticking with more horizontal builds for now). Remember that one slide tube will give the balls a lot of horizontal momentum, so you don't need to have the ball constantly traveling downward. 

little girl in tutu playing with Connetix tiles

5. Try new things and see where it takes you, and remember, chances are your kids are more creative than you are! These tips are mainly for you, the parent, because we all know our kids will come up with way better ideas than we find on Instagram, am I right?! Have fun building yourself, but also have fun seeing what cool ideas your kids (or you!) can come up with on your own. 

Little girl in tutu reaching for more Connetix tiles with a Connetix ball run in front

Note: This is my three year-old, and she cannot build a ball run of course. She has a BLAST putting the balls down the run, but we usually say it will be around five when they can build one on their own. 

Connetix ball run with tiles leaning

I added this picture to make a point. These things are pretty sturdy. Your tiles do not have to be totally perfect for it to stay up. It is pretty forgiving. Just go for it and have FUN!

Check out our Connetix items here!

Love,

Suzanne


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