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Virtual Kids Club: Winter 2021

Activity

Get the Ball Rolling

The Challenge: Can you create a twisty-turny maze using cardboard, straws, building blocks, and other materials you have around your home and successfully navigate a marble through it?


Materials

  

  • cardboard box or box lid
  • disposable baking pan
  • building block base plate
  • paper plate
  • drinking straws
  • cardboard or paper strips
  • building block bricks
  • foam pool noodles
  • cardboard tubes
  • craft sticks
  • peg board
  • modeling clay
  • dowels
  • tape
  • glue
  • ruler
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun
  • pencil
  • paper
  • marble

Procedure

  • Gather available materials around your home for your marble maze. Think outside of the box! Re-use materials you might normally put in the recycling or trash bin.
  • Decide on what you will use for the base of your maze, e.g. a shoebox lid, paper plate, disposable baking tray, or a building block base plate.
  • Gather what you would like to use to create the "walls" of your maze, e.g. craft sticks, modeling clay, cardboard strips, and drinking straws. Mix it up! You don't have to limit yourself to just one wall material.
  • Determine if you need tape or glue, or anything else to keep your walls attached to the base of your maze, and get these items ready for the building phase.
  • Using a pencil and paper, draw a blueprint of what you would like your maze to look like before you start building. Designate a beginning and end points for your maze. Make sure there is enough room for your marble to navigate through your maze without getting stuck. Use a ruler to keep track of the measurements of your materials and to check your design. 
  • Once you are happy with your design, it's time to put your plan into action and start building!

 

These are some examples of mazes you can make, but feel free to alter or make these designs your own with the materials you have available:

Straw/Modeling Clay/Craft Stick Marble Maze

  

For this marble maze you can use a base material of your choice (cardboard box, disposable baking sheet, paper plate, etc.) Next, choose what type of material(s) you would like for the walls of your maze. If using straws, craft sticks, or cardboard you will need to glue or tape them to your base. If using modeling clay, you can stick it directly to your base.

 

Building Block Marble Maze

 

For this maze you will need to use a building block base plate for the base, and building blocks for the walls. The advantage of this type of marble maze is that you can easily alter and rearrange your design.

 

Life Size Marble Run

 

This life-size marble run is a challenge that the whole family can collaborate on building together. You can use a peg board from a hardware store as the base for your run. Cardboard tubes, cut up foam pool noodles, cardboard, and other materials can be used as tracks to guide a large marble or ping pong ball through your run. Adhere these materials to the pegboard with wooden dowels cut into smaller pieces and tape.


Questions to Think About Afterwards

  • What worked from the initial blueprint design of your maze? What did you change when you built your marble maze? Why?
  • What supplies did you use for your maze? Which ones worked better?
  • How fast can a family member complete your marble maze, from beginning to end point?
  • Where have you seen mazes in real life?

Booklist

Get lost in a good book from our booklist for elementary school students.

Virtual Show and Tell