Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Marble Mazes

We encourage our children to do a lot of exploration with various materials in our classroom. After providing an opportunity for them to explore store-bought marble mazes yesterday, the children spent some time today creating their own marble obstacles.

Many children were fascinated with the complicated mazes, spending much of their time maneouvering the marble through the maze and traps until they reached the end of the game. Some spent their whole play time with this game - by themselves or with a friend cheering them on.

Today we placed a variety of materials out for the children - paper tubes, sticky tack, trays, and marbles. The children were invited to use the sticky tack to place the tubes in various spots on the trays. The nature of the sticky tack allows it to be reused numerous times which means that if a child was unhappy with how the marble maze has been created they can try again. This proved to be a very popular center with many children. Obstacles were created and tested multiple times. Mr. Mills even stopped by!

It was interesting to see the children experimenting with the materials. The following picture shows a child wanting to create a ramp-like tunnel for the marble to travel down. She realized that there was more support for the tube if she placed it on top of the corner of the box instead of just a side.

The children got tricky and started exploring what would happen if they used multiple marbles in the maze. One child put sticky tack inside the tubes to act as a secret trap for the marbles that he had to maneouver around. Their ideas were amazing and this activity was great for promoting the building of student hand-eye coordination. In the afternoon the children built scaffolding for their ramps so the tubes could be placed high above the tray.

And of course there's always a little bit of silliness thrown into any of our activities!

What a great activity to get our children exploring and experimenting with various classroom materials. This might be an activity that you want to do together with your child at home. Thank you to Mrs. Bombadier for a great idea!

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