Construction projects are a great way to reinforce engineering skills and vocabulary, and constructing a maze adds an added component of creative thinking! Introduce children to the concept of a maze, and use words like construction, build, structure, stability and hypothesis as they work.
Set Up Ideas
Old-fashioned wooden blocks and foam unit blocks are great choices for this activity, but any other blocks that inspire creativity can be used to create you mazes.
Let’s Get Started
To start construction on your magnificent mazes you'll first need to gather plenty of blocks. You'll also need to prepare a large floor or table area and gather cars, block people or other manipulatives to travel through the maze.
Designate a space for children to build a maze and create a construction zone by providing and displaying all the blocks available to the children.
For older children, you may practice planning skills by having them first create a blueprint of the maze they wish to create. It's okay if the final product deviates from the original plan.
Have the children build a maze using the provided blocks. Encourage children to incorporate twists, turns and dead-ends, but make sure there is a beginning and endpoint.
With their maze completed, have the children take a car, figurine, block figure or any unique token and travel them through the maze without getting lost.
Speak with the children about the deign and construction decisions that they've made. If they planned their maze in advance, ask whether the final design deviated from the original plans, and why. Discuss with them how they made sure there was a clear ending to the maze.
Tips and Tricks
If you have enough children to create multiple mazes, allow them to try out each other's mazes once complete. They'll enjoy a sense of pride and have opportunities to help one another if they get stuck.
Follow up Activity
Test children's abilities to translate from three dimensions to two by having them recreate their maze on paper. Use markers, crayons, glue or other craft materials to create their maze in a new medium.