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Have you ever played Marbles as a child?

I started playing at age 11, and now have become an avid collector. I just want to see how many smart people out there have stimulated their childhood dexterity with marbles.

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  • Feb 5 2013: yep, I was right around 13-14 when I won the National Championship. I wish all young people could experience the feeling of achieving a huge accomplishment at that age. It changed me forever.
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      Feb 5 2013: It really changes you for ever. It sets the course for your life!! In a most wonderful way.

      .....After reading Atul Jadhav's ideas, I hope you carry it farther than it has ever been carried :-)
      I bet there is something grand that you could do with your passion and expertise!! In fact, I am marking you Doug Watson, to come back and give a TED talk some day with a video of your class, showing how math, probability, physics and negotiation skills can be taught and learned using marble games!! And sharing with us your wish that " all young people could experience the feeling of achieving a huge accomplishment at that age", which will have come true.

      Like this: http://www.ted.com/talks/john_hunter_on_the_world_peace_game.html

      I sure hope I've multiplied your inspiration dear Doug:-) and I'll tell you this; there is a joy so profound that you will feel when you see your students '"fly" throughout their lives because of your teaching, that is unequalled in this life:-)
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    Jan 31 2013: Marbles? Trying my best not to lose them.
    • Jan 31 2013: hahah! we've all lost them at some point or another... maybe that's why I started collecting... to find my missing piece.
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    Jan 31 2013: Sure did. We had this patch of dirt that was our favorite. Played a lot of jacks too.
    • Jan 31 2013: awesome! my mother lives in a really old house with a HUGE tree in the back yard, and the story of the town is that the children used to shoot marbles under the tree back in the late 1800's early 1900's. we've found a few buried in the yard, when digging fence posts.
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    Jan 30 2013: Yes, I did play with them when I was a child. Apart from fun, they also improved my basic numeracy.
    • Jan 30 2013: marbles for math I love it! you could get really intricate with this i imagine. making specific colored marbles stand for exponents or formulas. I may try and make a learning exercise for youngsters with this idea.
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        Jan 30 2013: yes Sir...in addition to addition and subtraction they can be used to learn probability too. Different colour combinations will make the learning environment a bit more playful. ( Questions like the probability of choosing a red marble from a group of 2 white 3 red 4 green marble is?)
        Marbles also find their application in explaining some physics concepts like displacement.
        regards,
        Atul
        • Jan 31 2013: Don't forget negotiation skills to obtain favourable odds in winning that cherrished "aggie" or whatever held your eye at the time
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    Feb 5 2013: Marbles, alas, I never had any to lose ;-).. lol.. National champion 1999, at age 13!!
    You are Awesome to carry the passion within you to this day :-)
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    Feb 4 2013: Yes! And I was fascinated by those colored swirls within the glass... still am whenever I get to see one!
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    Feb 1 2013: I,m grown in war devasted country, playing marbles & running kites were of only means of entertainment for me. I was very good in playing marbles & was even making some money out of it. one of the tricks that me and my brother used to play was that we used carry only a few marbles in our pockets not all what we had. then if it was our day we used to win all marbles of our freinds however if it was a bad day we were only losing a few. when winter used to come we used to burry our marbles on roofs of our houses where as other kids were losing their marbles during snow.

    but I was not good in running kites , other boys used to cut my kite in the sky & i was losing money here but what was important , my cost of entertainment was not a burden on my late father.
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    Jan 31 2013: when I was 6&7 with my best friend Carol Schneider every day after school..she was REALLY GOOD..and the marbles were really beautiful
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    • Jan 31 2013: that's great. I'm almost 30 and I still play in tournaments. I was the 1999 National champion, and marbles will be playing as long as i can still get up and down to take a shot.

      i traveled to a few other countries and have seen children playing marbles in the dirt, i'd like to see how other countries (that i haven't visited) play.
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    Jan 31 2013: Yes I did
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    Jan 30 2013: Yes is the answer!

    I have a big heap of it. The first one I've got is from my dad. It's a smoky blue one.

    I love the sound when they hit each other, love the lights that come through them. It's magical to me.

    I keep collecting them in the jar till I was like 12-13. Now I still have them in my fish tank :)
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    Jan 30 2013: Well we used to play with our grandparents in their living room, we'd all sit on the floor. Never thought about dexterity, but it made for good times and lots of laughter. This would have been in Alhambra, California.
    • Jan 30 2013: i love hearing about the memories people have with marbles and grandparents.

      If anyone still has any of their marbles from their childhood or older family members, I am interested in seeing them. there are so many different ones out there, some I've never seen before.
  • Jan 30 2013: i dont know exactly how many i have, but it's in the thousands. I work with the National Marbles Tournament and am always looking to try and get new clubs interested to help our program expand. the NMT is the longest continual children's event in the USA. it'd over 85 years old!!! www.nationalmarblestournament.org
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    Jan 30 2013: Absolutely.....

    I remember that they looked so much like candy.

    I loved the feel of the marbles in my hand.

    One of the first things I bought my son when he was born, was a set of marbles. Of course, I put them away until he was old enough to play with them.

    How many marbles do you have in your collection?