DIY Marble Maze

DIY Marble Maze

My daughter recently came home from first grade with a project they completed in class using Wikki Stix. Their project was a very simple STEAM activity involving designing a small marble maze using a paper plate. This particular activity inspired me to create my own, bigger version for her using a big cardboard box and similar materials.

Before beginning, it may be helpful to talk to your children about the task at hand. Explain to them that they will be designing and constructing their very own toy, and that they will be imitating what real life engineers do in their jobs!

Engineers and designers are people who use science, math and other information to solve a problem, using a certain process to complete the task at hand. When designing your DIY marble maze you will need to think about several factors: the different locations of the walls and bumpers (you’ll need to make sure a marble can roll through), the colors you want to incorporate as well as how easy or difficult you want the marble maze to be.

We decided to keep our marble maze relatively simple for ease of use, and we also knew that we wanted to incorporate lots of color into our design. As we were going, my daughters suggested incorporating a start and a finish line, so that is something you can do, too!

Materials Needed

Materials Needed:
-Wikki Stix (we love the Neon Pak for this project!)
-Additional craft materials (craft sticks, pipe cleaners, etc.)
-Hot glue gun

Step 1:
Gather your materials. Wikki Stix are a great tool for this STEAM project as they adhere so well to cardstock – and, as a bonus, no glue is necessary, making them a super simple and an easy way to craft with children.

Add Colored Paper

Step 2:
Make your background. We chose colorful sheets of cardstock for the background of our marble maze, and glued them down in a row.

Add design elements

Step 3:
Make some fun design elements. We glued toilet paper rolls, craft sticks and some pipe cleaners in different locations. We also used Wikki Stix, which require no glue, for a lot of the maze walls!

Keep adding to the design

Step 4:
Keep adding on to what you have. As you design your maze, be sure to test your design, as this is an important part of the design process. If your marble cannot fit through a space or if the maze walls are too short or too long, you will need to make adjustments to improve your maze. If this happens just remember, it is all part of the process!

Test the design!

Step 5:
Test it out! When your marble maze is complete, have your children gently tilt the box back and forth to move the marble through the maze. Make any adjustments as needed!

Making your own marble maze is a great way to introduce kids to design and problem solving and it is also an easy way to develop fine and gross motor skills. Also, children in general love to make and play with their own toys, so this is a great project to introduce that concept to them. Have fun!