Marble Maze Madness

NAME OF CONTRIBUTING LIBRARY: Valleyview Municipal Library


TITLE OF PROGRAM: Marble Maze Madness


PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Recycle plastic straws to create your own 3D maze and challenge your friends and family to solve it!


PROGRAM CATEGORY: Craft/STEM activity


PROGRAM DELIVERY (FOR STAFF USE ONLY): This program can be explained via any media platform, as the concept is fairly straightforward and can be as simple or complex as the child wants.


INSTRUCTIONS (FOR STAFF): Recording an online tutorial video or creating an example project may help children to visualize the steps as well as the finished maze.


AGE GROUP: 6+ and can be adapted for complexity.


TIME REQUIRED: About 60 minutes from start to finish. Time will vary with complexity of maze design.


SPACE CONSIDERATIONS: This is an indoor program that requires little space.

MATERIALS REQUIRED: 

  • Cardboard (We used a piece roughly 8.5x11”)
  • Scissors
  • White glue or hot-glue gun
  • 10-20 plastic straws
  • Pencil
  • Colored paper (optional)
  • Markers (optional)
  • Marbles

INSTRUCTIONS: 

  1. Sketch out a rough design for your maze on the coloured paper. (If you chose not to use coloured paper, draw your maze directly on the cardboard base). Remember to make sure your maze will comfortably fit a marble, taking into account the width of the straws. It’s also important to check to make sure your maze is solvable. How easy or hard it is is up to you!

    images/marble maze/2Sketch.jpg
  2. If you chose to use coloured paper for the “floor” of your maze, glue it securely to your cardboard base to make it sturdier.

  3. Starting with the outer edges, cut and glue straws to make the walls of the maze, following your sketch. Make sure that your maze has an entrance, exit, and a border to stop the marble from falling off the edges. Make sure to run your marble through it periodically as you go to ensure it fits easily around corners, down aisles, etc.

    images/marble maze/3Assembly.jpg
  4. Once your maze is done, try to solve it by guiding the marble through the maze by holding the maze by its cardboard base and tilting it gently to move the marble. Challenge your family to solve your 3D maze and see who can get to the finish line fastest!

images/marble maze/4Finished.jpg