The Create-a-Maze is part of a range of great STEM products available from Learning Resources, who kindly sent us one to try out. I’ve now donated it to my daughter’s school who I know are having huge amounts of fun with it.
The Create-a-Maze comes with a sturdy maze board, which is a really good size and easy to put together, 17 maze pieces, four balls and a set of activity cards full of fun layouts and ideas. The idea is that children build a maze using the brightly coloured maze pieces either making their own design or following the activity cards, and then guide the ball through the maze by tilting the board. The set is aimed at children between 5 and 9 years old, so perfect for my three, all of whom had a great time testing it out.
The board is made up of two main pieces making it easy to store.
Five learning activities for the Create-a-Maze
The activity cards supplied with the maze are fantastic with lots of great ideas for extending play and providing hours of inspiration, but just in case you need even more, here are some of the games we played.
Follow the Numbers
To reinforce my 4 year old’s number recognition skills we used sticky labels to add some numbers to a maze, the idea being that she tried to roll the marbles over the numbers in order, finally ending at the number 10 on the goal.
You could extend this for older children by using bigger numbers, or counting in 5s, 10s etc or counting backwards.
Spot the phonic sound
Using the same method as for numbers, write sounds on sticky labels and ask the child to say the sound as the marble rolls over it. For early readers you could do the same thing but with key words.
How long does it take?
For my 8 year old we set the challenge of completing a maze in a certain amount of time. We created a maze using one of the activity cards supplied and he had to guide the ball through all the obstacles as fast as he could.
We recorded 3 times each and compared our scores.
Use your feet/one hand
Can you complete a maze using your feet to tilt the board, or using just one hand. Is it harder? What if you use the hand you don’t write with?
Use different balls
One of the great things about the Create-a-Maze is the flexibility it offers, if you lost the balls supplied you could use normal marbles or other small balls.
We tried to complete the same maze using the balls supplied, a smaller marble and a soft ball. It was much harder with the soft ball as it didn’t roll as fast or as smoothly.
What other balls could you try?
All in all, we loved the Create-a-Maze and think it’s a great value set for under £30.
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