Marble Arcade - FamilyEducation

Marble Arcade

by Trish Kuffner, author of The Children's Busy Book

Here are directions for building a marble arcade and playing a marble arcade game.

This game can be played indoors or outdoors.

  • Scissors
  • Shoebox
  • Marker
  • Heavy object, such as large book or shoe
  • Marbles


  1. Cut five or six holes of different sizes and shapes (semicircle, triangle, rectangle, and so on) in one long side of a shoebox.
  2. Each hole should be wide enough for a marble to pass through.
  3. Write a number between one and ten above each hole.
  4. Give easier (bigger) holes lower numbers and harder (smaller) holes higher numbers.
  5. Set the box upside down on a flat surface and put a heavy object on the box to hold it in place.
  6. Have the players take turns shooting their marbles one at a time through the holes from a designated spot.
  7. If a marble misses the holes, it stays where it lands.
  8. If a marble goes through a hole, its owner retrieves it and collects the designated number of marbles from the playing area. For example, if a marble goes through a hole marked with the number five, its owner collects five marbles from the playing area.
  9. If there aren't enough marbles in the playing area, have each player put one or two marbles into a kitty, from which the shooter is paid.