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Quadrilla for my kids (and me)

On the 6th night of Chanukah, my parents gave my 4-year-old daughter a Quadrilla set. These elegant wooden marble runs come with a variety of tracks and connectors to design unlimited configurations. Although I have played with the display sets on many occasions, Friday night was my first opportunity to actually build with Quadrilla.

We spread out all the pieces on our Nilo table (a perfect locale, since the raised edges contained the marbles nicely) and examined the instruction manual. At first, we tried including my daughter in the construction phase, but this was disastrous. Each time we would start making progress, she would accidentally bump something and the whole structure would come tumbling down. But once the kids were asleep, my little sister and I got down to work.

We built each configuration in the booklet, one by one, slowly learning how each of the color-coded pieces worked. Then we let the marbles loose again and again, marvelling at how, even as a teenager and an adult, we were totally enthralled. We left the most impressive structure for my daughter to find in the morning, when it was her turn to drop the marbles in the chute and watch them cascade down in all different directions.

Overall, three generations fell in love with Quadrilla this weekend. The pieces are solid and very easy to interlock using a connection system that reminded me of very large Lego pieces. The resulting structures are pretty sturdy (clumsy 4-year-olds notwithstanding). The color-coded connectors lend a brain-teasing, puzzle-like dimension to the construction, since different pieces affect the marbles differently. And as much fun as we had building the run, my daughter had just as much fun playing with it. Win-win.

Bonus! Right now the biggest Quadrilla set is actually on sale for just $118.99, through 12/31.

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