Published April 24, 2020
Teaching Tuesdays: Marble Maze
The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites may be currently closed due to COVID-19 – but that doesn’t mean we can’t bring some of the museum to you!
On Tuesdays, we’re bringing families tons of educational content that’s easy for caregivers and their kids to do at home with materials you likely have on hand.
This week, create your own maze using building blocks and marbles.
We tend to think of mazes and labyrinths as the same thing. But, they actually are very different! Labyrinths have a single path with many turns but there are no dead-ends. The entrance and exit are the same. Mazes have many pathways with dead-ends, and the entrance and exit are in different locations.
If you’re feeling ambitious, try your hand at both, using the below activity as a guide.
- Paper or graph paper
- Building blocks or bricks
- Base plate
1. Can you create a maze or course for a marble to travel through? How do you want your maze to look? Where are the start and end points? Draw your plan on the paper to help you remember your ideas.
2. Use the base plate to hold your maze. One tip is to create a frame around the edge of the base plate to hold the marble inside your maze.
3. Fill the inside of your maze with building blocks. Test as you go to make sure your marble can navigate the maze.
4. Once complete, give the maze to a family member and see if they can get the marble through your maze.
TIPS FOR PARENTS
During and after the activity, ask your child:
- Where have you seen or completed mazes before?
- What makes a good maze? What makes a maze not fun?
- What could you do to make a larger maze? Can you make a multiple level maze?
- What makes a 3D maze the same or different from a 2D maze?
- What would you do differently for your next maze?
READY TO CONTINUE EXPLORING?
- Use painter’s tape or sidewalk chalk to create a large scale maze on your sidewalk, driveway or patio. Brainstorm what materials you could use to navigate through the maze. Maybe it’s a pom-pom that you use a craft stick or fan to guide it through the maze? Or if your maze is large enough, can you walk through it from beginning to end?
- Consider a trip to New Harmony to visit a recreation of the Harmonist Society labyrinth. While in town, make sure to stop by the New Harmony State Historic Site.
- Has your family ever visited a corn maze? Check out different mazes across the country.
- Discover free online mazes.
- Make a maze online and check out other puzzles.