Making a-maze-ing marble mazes for the preschool classroom

I made a few marble mazes for my preschoolers to explore during our unit on marbles.  Sometimes, I get in this DIY mode and like to make little games or activities just to add a little extra something fun in the classroom…

My students found the mazes set out on the table with a container of marbles when they got to school that day. We also had the Magnetic Marble Tubes I shared about earlier and our Marble Painting that same day…

To make the marble maze, I cut up a few colorful straws into pieces and hot glued them into the bottoms and the lids of small gift boxes…

The tricky part of this was spacing the straws so the marbles could roll easily between each straw.  I wanted each maze to look a little different so I fiddled with them for a bit and then glued them in place…

This is the kind of DIY toy that I set out for the children to explore the first time, and then I leave in a basket in one of my centers for the children to choose from on future days…

It was also a good way to use up some of my left-over boxes.  The children played with the marbles and mazes off and on through out the morning…

It was hard to get good photos of the play in action since marble mazes invite constant, quick, movement of their hands…

It takes a little concentration and some good eye-hand coordination to move those marbles through the mazes without letting the marbles fall out of the box…

I thought about putting a plastic cover over the top of each maze but then I realized that some of the children will want to add more than one marble to the maze. Part of the challenge is trying to keep all the marbles in the box so I decided to leave the marble maze boxes a little bit more open ended for play and exploration…

I think I will introduce a few more “maze type activities” to my children in the up and coming weeks. I had three different ideas that were shared with me this past week that my class would just love. The first one is a tape maze from Jamie over at Hands on: as we grow

To see the other two mazes I would like to try in my classroom, you will need to be able to log into Facebook.  These two videos are a-maze-ing!   You can view them on Facebook by clicking here and here! (At least I hope you can)!

Links to Grow On…

Love and Lollipops: Mommy Made Marble Run Game

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By |2012-01-31T18:47:26+00:00January 31st, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.

27 Comments

  1. Allison January 31, 2012 at 8:29 pm - Reply

    This is so neat!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 31, 2012 at 9:07 pm - Reply

      Thank you Allison:)

  2. Esther January 31, 2012 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    Really A-maze-ing idea! Ingenious! So simple and hours of fun!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 31, 2012 at 9:56 pm - Reply

      Thank you Esther:)

  3. Ashli January 31, 2012 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    I love this! My four year old has recently discovered mazes and I think he would LOVE this! I love your blog and find many, many, educational activities for my 2 and 4 year olds. Thank you for sharing it!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 31, 2012 at 9:55 pm - Reply

      I am so happy to have you Ashli:)

  4. Maureen January 31, 2012 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.
    Oh I have to make some – marbles are so popular right now with the families that attend my program.
    Thank you

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 31, 2012 at 9:56 pm - Reply

      We have been doing tons of marble activities lately!!

      • Maureen March 31, 2012 at 1:58 am

        We made some small ones then this week we made a bigger one.
        https://strongstart.blogspot.ca/2012/03/marble-mazes.html
        Thank again for a fantastic idea the children love them.

      • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 31, 2012 at 9:48 am

        I want to make a bigger one!! Headed over to check out yours too!

  5. Jamie @ hands on : as we grow January 31, 2012 at 10:32 pm - Reply

    That is brilliant Deborah! I think Henry would love this version of a maze! Will have to try one. Thanks for sharing our tape maze!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. February 1, 2012 at 9:32 pm - Reply

      You are welcome Jamie:)

  6. andiejaye February 1, 2012 at 1:04 am - Reply

    what fun! we’re getting ready to make a marble run for the fridge! are those the same type of boxes you used for your “i spy” boxes? i’d love to get my hands on some of those!

    pinned this 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. February 1, 2012 at 9:32 pm - Reply

      Yes, these are the same boxes. I bought a ton of them from the Dollar store at Christmas time and am still using them up!!

  7. Nicole {Tired, Need Sleep} February 1, 2012 at 10:03 am - Reply

    Brilliant!! I love these! I want to make them, but I’m wondering if the effort would be worth it for one child to play with. Hmmm… maybe it would be fun to have Matthew help me make a few. Thanks for a wonderful idea! We are going to do your magnetic marble track soon too. 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. February 1, 2012 at 9:32 pm - Reply

      Hi Nicole – so nice to hear from you!
      Yes, I would make it with your child rather than for your child! It will be a much more rewarding experience for both of you…

  8. Beth February 3, 2012 at 9:03 am - Reply

    This is sooooooooo clever!! LOVE it! I would love for you to share it at my TGIF linky party (https://livinglifeintentionally.blogspot.com/2012/02/tgif-linky-party-15.html) I know my readers would LOVE this too!!
    Beth =-)

  9. Love and Lollipops February 4, 2012 at 7:53 am - Reply

    This is a super idea!! My boys would love it and I’ve shared it with my little guy’s play school teacher 🙂

    Have a super weekend!

    Georgia

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. February 4, 2012 at 11:01 am - Reply

      Thanks for sharing the idea!

  10. Dionna @ Code Name: Mama February 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    Oh wow! My preschooler is in love with marbles and mazes – this is perfect for us!!

  11. Tami February 10, 2012 at 11:58 pm - Reply

    Just stopping by to let you know that I’ve featured your craft on Family Fun Crafts! You can see it here:
    https://funfamilycrafts.com/a-maze-ing-marble-mazes/

    If you have other kid friendly crafts, I’d love it if you would submit them. 🙂 If you would like to display a
    featured button on your site, you can grab one from the right side bar of your post above.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. February 11, 2012 at 8:51 am - Reply

      Thank you Tami – I will be sure to stop by!

  12. Melissa @ the chocolate muffin tree February 16, 2012 at 11:36 am - Reply

    These are great! You are on the crafty crow today! Congrats!

  13. mermaid February 16, 2012 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    Absolutely wonderful!

  14. Nicole {Tired, Need Sleep} February 17, 2012 at 9:26 am - Reply

    Deborah, I’m just coming back to tell you I made one of these mazes yesterday for my son (5 years) and he LOVES it. 🙂 Even my husband thought it was cool. We used a steel marble (from his Magz set) and a magnet underneath to move it through the maze. He is all about magnets lately, so he loved this. (We also made your fridge magnetic marble run, which was also a big hit!) I’ll show him today how to work the maze with a regular marble like your preschoolers did – moving the box top around – and let him try with several marbles at once. I only had one box top, darn it, so there’s only one maze. For older children like Matthew, I’m thinking it would be a good idea to use wiki stix or something similar to make mazes (several might have to be stacked up in order to make the lines high enough), so they could rearrange them as wanted and make new mazes. Wishing I had thought of that sooner! It might not work with a whole classroom of children, but thought I’d put it out there for others to see who have older preschoolers or kindergarten age children at home. 🙂 You have such wonderful ideas! Sorry for the long comment. 😉

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. February 18, 2012 at 8:41 am - Reply

      Nicole – you amaze me! After making my marble mazes, I also thought of other ways I could do this where the children could be more involved in the process and next time, I will definitely try to expand the idea so the children can change things around and even try making their own. I love the idea of using other materials like the wiki stix so they children can make their lines higher!

  15. hilke February 17, 2012 at 9:57 am - Reply

    Thank you… this is a really nice idea…for marble fans like us!

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