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Marble Mazes!

December 29, 2011
Imaginative birthday cake made from recycled items.

Imaginative birthday cake made from recycled items.

Marble Mazes

I have never met a child that their eyes didn’t light up when they were given an opportunity to make anything to their hearts desire.

On a day that it’s too cold or too rainy to play outside, watch your child stay busy and happy for hours!

Materials:

Gather interesting and clean containers from everyday items like:

  • cereal
  • yogurt containers
  • milk cartons
  • tissue boxes
  • tubes from empty paper towels and toilet paper rolls
  • netting from bags of oranges
  • anything that looks appealing and doesn’t have any staples (catches small fingers)

Explain to your child that they can make anything he would like.

One favorite “Recycled Creation” that many kids like to make is a marble maze. Using cardboard tubes from wrapping paper, paper towel and toilet paper rolls your child can make a maze in which a marble travels along a path made by the tubing. They can assemble the tubes in a number of ways but keep in mind:

  • That it must start high (like the top of a table) and descend to the floor using gravity otherwise it won’t get the momentum to complete the maze.
  • Let they decide on where they want to attach the tubes but help them make the holes to connect the tubes (so the tubes aren’t accidentally crushed).
  • Using masking tape to connect the pieces is easy for most children to manipulate.
  • Cut a slit on the top of some of the tubes so your child can watch the marble descend! They’ll enjoy following its progress.
  • Consider building it around a box. The box will give it stability and the marble can travel through the box, hitting bells, run over metal cans, and generally, anything they think of.
  • Have them cut out a C-shape at the end of the connecting tubes if the marble must make a turn to help the marble drop into the other tube and change direction.
  • Let them decorate the tubes anyway they would like.
  • Stickers and markers are easy to add and gives the maze a jazzy look. If they want to, you can cover the tubes with construction paper before the tubes are attached.
Whatever they do – they’ll have fun!

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