Constructing mazes adds excitement to your blocks area.
Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas
- Unit blocks
- Small rubber balls
- A picture of a simple maze
- Miniature toys
Objective: Children will use their problem-solving and fine-motor skills as they plan and construct mazes made from blocks.
In Advance: Show children a picture of a simple maze and ask them if they've ever seen one. Demonstrate with your finger how to go through this picture maze. Then, give children chances to move their fingers through the maze, as well.
- Gather children in the block area. Show them the picture of the maze again. Explain that a maze is a kind of puzzle in which you find your way from one part to another. Invite children to make their own simple mazes from a double row of blocks.
- Ask children to construct a block maze that is wide enough for a small ball to pass through. They might want to work together to build one large maze or work by themselves on their own separate mazes.
- Encourage children to think about the direction of their mazes' pathways. Make comments about their ideas. You might say, "I see Margo making a maze with square blocks that really zig zags. Ramon's maze is shaped like the letter L."
- When children finish their maze (or mazes), ask them to take turns rolling a rubber ball through. As children move the ball through their mazes, they might be interested in hearing whether they are making left or right turns or other words that describe directions.
- Ask children to think about what else in the classroom could travel through their mazes. Could miniature dinosaurs find their way through the maze? Small cars or trucks? Toy animals or finger puppets?
- Offer children opportunities to make their mazes more complex. They might work in small groups to add new trails or transform other trails into tunnels.
For Younger children: Help children construct simple pathways with blocks. Later, they can move classroom toys or stuffed animals through the pathway.
For older children: Ask children if they want signs for their mazes such as start, finish, left, or right. Write down their ideas on index cards and help them decide where they should be placed.
OBSERVATIONS: Which children are only interested in building mazes by themselves? Which children are interested in building cooperatively with their classmates?
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Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss