Every summer the library in Nahariya holds a special program for school children to promote reading. Every child participating in the program commits to reading 20 minutes each day, and together they have a shared goal of accumulating 150,000 minutes of reading.
I was asked by the library manager to come up with an idea that will be incorporated with the weekly prize ceremony.
My thought was to build a structure that will look like a machine, “counting” reading minutes.
La Machina is a large marble run consisting of five runs intertwined. Every marble represents one unit - 10 minutes of reading. Every week when the kids gather to count their reading minutes they get marbles to drop into the run according to how many minutes they have been reading. The runs are made of cardboard and different objects in orange and metal. They twist drop and generate various sounds as the marbles run through them. Kids and parents run around La Machina to watch the marble disappear and reappear in what seems like magic. All the marbles are gathered into jars, making a big clang sound when they fall.
Marble runs are fun for all ages. Parents and kids alike enjoy dropping the marbles and watching them as they twist and turn and make different sounds on their way down.
I encourage you to make your own run at home or in your local library.
Enjoy reading and the rest of your summer