Do your kids like to do mazes? Do they enjoy designing, building and creating? If your answer is yes – they will love this box lid maze creative design project that incorporates art, engineering and critical thinking!
Bonus for parents? It’s dirt cheap and you probably have all the materials at home already!
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What is a Box Lid Maze?
A box lid maze is a 3D maze that is made inside the lid of a box using straws as the walls and a small bead or ball. The aim of the game is to get the ball from a starting position to a finish while avoiding obstacles and dead ends!
Kids can easily make their own box lid maze using very few supplies. And it’s one of those activities that will keep your kids absorbed for a long period of time – nice!
Why Make Box Lid Mazes?
The greatest part of this activity is the critical thinking that goes into the design and construction of a maze. It’s kid engineering at it’s finest – planning, trial and error, testing, and revising are constantly required as a maze is constructed.
And the complexity of the maze is only limited by your child’s creativity and imagination!
Materials You Will Need
- Box lid
- Decorative paper/coloured construction paper
- Clear tape
- Straws (plastic or paper)
- Pencil crayons or markers
- A small bead or ball
- Optional: Other decorative items and beautiful junk
How to Make a Box Lid Maze
First, have your child pick a theme idea for the maze. It could be based on a favourite book, TV show, or just a topic of interest.
(My son, Onetime, chose to make a space-themed maze after reading the hilarious Catstronauts graphic novel series by Drew Brockington. He totally wants to be an astronaut now!)Next, cover the bottom of the box with coloured paper that fits the theme. Find a small bead or ball to roll through the maze.
We used starry scrapbooking paper for our space theme. And a little bead became the “rocket” that has to find it’s way across the universe!
Now, decide on a starting point for the maze. Line the entry with straws. Tape them down pressing the tape close to each side of the straw.
Prompt your child to create several pathways for the bead to travel using the straws and have your child add obstacles to some of those pathways.
Onetime created an asteroid field by gluing down some beads to completely block one of the pathways.
Straws can easily be cut into different lengths to create maze pathways. Bendy straws are great for making corners easily!
Prompt your child to create some dead ends to make the maze more difficult.
This was Onetime’s Earth orbit trap. If the “rocket bead” touched the Earth, it would circle in orbit and have to start again.
Consider adding some traps where the ball gets caught or stuck or drops out of the maze and must start again.
Onetime wanted a black hole trap so we cut a hole right out of the bottom of the lid so the “rocket bead” would have to go around or start again if it got sucked into the hole!
Try adding some fun obstacles like ramps or tunnels using paper towel rolls.
This was Onetime’s “reverse rocket ramp.”
You can just use a piece of a paper towel roll and tape it sideways for a ramp.
Paper rolls also work great for creating little tunnels.
This was Onetime’s “Time Tunnel” to get to the Space Station.
Having a theme makes it easy to come up with obstacle ideas. These beautiful junk pieces became a “space junk” obstacle once glued down.
Let your kids be creative with their maze – they’ll come up with all kinds of great ideas to make their maze fun and challenging!
Space station officially under construction.
The final destination to win the maze game should be marked somewhere.
Onetime wanted his rocket ship bead to fly to the sun, so we glued down a large yellow pompom for the rocket bead to hit at the end!
Add finishing touches to the maze with markers, beautiful junk or small themed toys.
Can you figure out how to get through Onetime’s maze?! There’s only one path that works.
Your child will enjoy making their maze and playing it as they build it. When they’re done construction, be sure to play it too yourself! They’ll love challenging you!
If you’ve got a few kids making mazes – they can exchange mazes and try each other’s out. So fun!!!
I think I’m going to have to try this one at school with a group of kids…maybe have them each design a maze to go with a book they’ve read.
If you’ve read my blog before, you know I’m nuts about kids’ books and like to recommend a few good reads to go along with all my activities.
Here are a few of my favourite maze books for kids. Check them out!
Space Pirates by Scoular Anderson is the book that got my son interested in creating his own mazes. It’s a hilarious graphic novel type story where the characters have to move through a series of maze-like puzzles that challenge the reader to solve in order to continue through the story.
Bonus: kids learn a variety of map-reading skills as they go along, like how to read a compass, read topographical maps, read a legend, and more! Ages 5-10.
Another fun story-based maze book where readers work through the coloured mazes while helping a detective solve a mystery! Ages 6-9.
A maze themed story/picture book for older readers. Kids can read through this story where each page is a room in a maze! Ages 9+.
If you’re just looking for a book of fun and challenging mazes to solve – then try this one. Kids who work well under pressure can even time themselves to get faster!
Will you give this activity a try? I’d love to hear your ideas or see pictures if you do! Share them in the comments below!
Today’s post is a part of a fun STEM and STEAM series going on this month hosted by my friend Anne at Left Brain Craft Brain. Be sure to drop by her blog to learn more about this awesome 28 day series full of fun activities for kids to try at home or at school!
Have an a-maze-ing time with this activity!