View Full Version : Marbles

11-30-2011, 11:52 AM
My DS (just turned 5) is undiagnosed but has clear issues with hyperactivity, impulsivity and fine motor delays. We are seeing a Behavior and OT therapists.

My DH REALLY wants to get him a marble run for Xmas but I am hesitant about it given the choking hazard with marbles. When he is in his hyperactive moods he has occasionally put things in his mouth (usually larger kitchen type toys or his little pet plastic puppy). Each time we tell him to take it out and even have taken his puppy away when he puts it in his mouth. We just started having alot of the little Legos around the house and there hasn't been an issue with those. But for some reason I think marbles would be different and more attractive for him to put in his mouth.

I know each child is different and only we know our children, but just wondering if anyone else had this concern with their pre-school or older child, especially if they are special needs. Or am I being paranoid?


11-30-2011, 12:39 PM
We don't have this problem (we have the opposite, where DS is adverse to putting things in his mouth), but I know several families who have kids who chew.

Would it help to give him appropriate items to chew? Fun and Function has some great items: http://funandfunction.com/oral-motor-chewies-c-66_169_172.html and Kid Companions has "chewlery": ttp://kidcompanions.com/store (http://kidcompanions.com/store)

If he has a need to chew (and some kids do), providing him items that are designed for chewing can help keep him safe from choking hazards and dnagerous items. Do you think if he had appropriate chew items he would understand that he needs to chew those, instead of marbles or the plastic dog?

As for marble runs, my son loves his. He's 7 now and got it when he wa about 5. He has the Quadrilla Twist & Rail. http://www.amazon.com/Quadrilla-Marble-Railway-Twist-Rail/dp/B000FJTP1G/ref=pd_sim_sbs_t_3
It's very well made and looks beautiful. DS has motor skill delays, so he does need help building different set-ups, but it's good pracice for him. He likes to visually stim, so he loves watching the marbles go through the track.

12-10-2011, 10:06 AM
Thanks Gena! That is a good suggestion.

As a follow up, I discussed this with the OT and Behavior therapists. The OT didn't think it would be an issue as long as we monitored the play in the beginning (although she went on to suggest he suck on hard candy while playing with it which I thought very strange...). The Behavior therapist understand the concern given his hyperactivity and impulsivity and suggested we just monitor him with it at all times. Given this isn't much of an option (since it is the kind of toy that stays set up), we have decided to not give it to him and reassess next year. But on the good side we found a really cool space shuttle to give him in its place.


12-10-2011, 04:52 PM
I am a behavioral specialist and I totally agree with the advice you got. I work with lots of kids who have that challenge. In the long run, if he keeps it up, I'm sure you'll dig into the functionql aspect of the behavior, so you can help him change it, but in the short term I'd only do it with arm's reach supervision. As a mom I just couldn't risk it - I think you're making a smart choice.

Eta: I think space shuttles are more fun than marbles any day! :)

E(again) to add: she probably suggested hard candy because she thinks the mouthing behavior has a sensory function. In theory, if that need is being met by the candy, he won't be tempted to mouth the marbles. I'd be cautious, though, that the hard candy might actually suggest a tempting resemblance to the marbles and might actual cue him to try the marbles for taste. I have seen this happen. Not knowing your son...I just couldn't guess which way it would go.

12-22-2011, 09:50 PM
Thanks Uno-Mom! It is great to have additional support, especially when DH thinks I am kind of paranoid....and I am very excited to see DS's reaction to the rocket ship :)