I have been making homemade marble mazes in one form or another since I was 10 years old. When I was in fifth grade our teacher thought it would be a great STEM engineering project to give us scrap paper with the instructions to make a marble maze. As students, we were thrilled with the time given to “have fun” rather than study at our desk. We were not really aware of all the lessons that making mazes gave us.
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This DIY Velcro Marble Maze will not only entertain the kids it will also have them learning concepts such as exploring cause and effect, physics, spatial awareness and more!
First, a note about safety: We made a marble maze because the children who would be using the maze no longer put objects in their mouths. For children who may decide to explore the marbles with their mouth use larger balls like super balls.
All you need is some cardboard rolls, a few boxes, marbles or balls, a large piece of cardboard and some velcro. We covered the cardboard rolls with duct tape to make them more durable but it is not necessary.
- We covered the cardboard rolls with duct tape to make the tubes more durable, but this step is optional.
- Cut holes in the sides of the cardboard rolls. Vary where you place the holes. Make sure that the holes will be large enough for whatever balls, marbles or beads that you plan on using.
- Adhere velcro to the large piece of cardboard. Place the first pieces along the top edge and then place additional pieces of velcro in horizontal lines 3″ apart all the way down the length of the cardboard.
- Adhere velcro on the cardboard tubes on the side you want to be the back of the tube. Put the velcro pieces 3″ apart so they can match the velcro that you put on the large piece of cardboard.
- Adhere velcro onto the boxes. Use the boxes as ball catchers at the bottom of the maze.
That’s it, your DIY Velcro Marble Maze is ready for the kids to play with and enjoy!
Extending the activity by adding in math and colors:
- We put numbers and pictures on the sides of the boxes and made a variety of games. Number correspondence: Have the kids move the tubes around so they collect the matching amount of marbles in each box. Color Sorting: the same idea as number correspondence but with colors.
- You can also use magnet strips on the cardboard rolls instead of velcro and use this as a refrigerator activity while you are busy in the kitchen.
- We made our own boxes to add in fine motor and visual spatial skills. I learned how to fold boxes about the same time as I first started making marble mazes. Thanks to YouTube I found a great instructional video for you:
- We also made our own balls out of modeling clay for more fine motor and sensory practice.
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