One of the things I find fun is building marble mazes. There’s something kind of silly about them, but I enjoy them. We have a couple of sets of store-bought mazes. One is plastic, the other wood. They’re both fun and the kids and I use them, but that doesn’t stop us from wanting to make our own as well. So here’s some marble maze ideas we’ve found.
You know the cardboard spacers that keep glass jars from banging against each other in the box? My husband found us some really tall dividers like that, but we could easily make more by cutting slits in sheets of cardboard so that they can fit together. Then we started cutting holes in the frame and using cardpaper to make marble shoots. The shoots could be easily held up and repositioned within the frame. What we found was the most important thing is to have the last shoot send the marble out one of the edges rather than have them all get stuck in one of the middle squares. The picture here shows just the start of a project.
Another marble maze we’ve made is using a homemade geoboard and stringing elastics up as walls. The children can make and remake the mazes and then lead a marble through it by tilting the board. One of our geoboard has a large knot-hole in the middle that can either be the target or an obstacle.
A third way of doing a marble maze is to sew a marble in between two layers of cloth, creating walls for the maze by sewing the layers together and pathways where the layers are separate. One advantage of this type of marble maze is that there’s no danger of swallowing the marble, but the disadvantage is the marble won’t roll by itself, a person has to push it along the path with their fingers, and once the path is sewn it cannot be rebuilt in a different pattern. This picture is of a labyrinth, not a maze, because there are no wrong-turns, but it could be made either way.