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 space 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
- Pencil crayons or markers
- A small bead or ball
- Paper towel rolls for ramps and tunnels
- Optional: Other decorative items and beautiful junk (pom poms, nuts and bolts, outer space mini toys)
How to Make a Box Lid Maze
Step 1: Pick a Theme
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, 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!
Step 2: Paper It
Cover the bottom of the box with coloured paper that fits the theme. Find a small bead or ball to roll through the maze.
Step 3: Make It with Straws
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 so the ball rolls easily.
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.
Straws can easily be cut into different lengths to create maze pathways. Bendy straws are great for making corners easily!
Step 4: Add Obstacles
Prompt your child to create some dead ends to make the maze more difficult.
Consider adding some traps where the ball gets caught or stuck or drops out of the maze and must start again.
Try adding some fun obstacles like ramps or tunnels using paper towel rolls.
You can use a piece of a paper towel roll and tape it sideways for a ramp.
Paper rolls also work great for creating little tunnels.
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!
Step 5: Mark the Ending
The final destination to win the maze game should be marked somewhere.
Add finishing touches to the maze with markers, beautiful junk or small themed toys.
Step 6: Play the Maze
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!
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Today’s post is a part of a fun STEAM series 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!