This post was contributed by Mary Catherine of Fun-A-Day!
Make a Geoboard Maze for Learning & Imaginative Fun!
One of my favorite activities in my preschool class this year was making a homemade geoboard (which was inspired by Hands On as We Grow’s “Push Pin Geoboard.”) Given my son’s penchant for spatial thinking, and his love of mazes, I suggested to him that we make a geoboard maze for his marbles.
DIY Geoboard Maze
an extra corkboard from my office
How we made our geoboard maze:
Immediately, he started mapping out how he wanted his maze to look. Originally, I was thinking of creating a maze with dead ends and traps. Engineer (my son) had a different idea. He wanted the maze to go around the corkboard until it reached the middle (where “invisible treasure” was buried).
He and I worked together to place the pushpins appropriately around the corkboard. As we were doing so, we made sure to add the rubber bands. Once we were done, we added a second layer of rubber bands to make sure the maze’s “walls” were secure.
How we used our maze:
Then the fun began! We started with one marble and move the corkboard to make it move through the maze. Then Engineer decided he wanted to add about ten more marbles, and he giggled the entire time we moved them on our homemade geoboard.
After about half an hour, Engineer brought a toy tractor into the mix to see how it fared in our maze. He enjoyed driving it through the track, but it wasn’t as much fun as the marble.
From there, Engineer began adding “traps” to the maze. These were additional rubber bands that crisscrossed the geoboard and trapped the marbles if the board wasn’t angled correctly.
After another half an hour, Optimus Prime and C3PO joined us in the maze. Engineer made up a story about how they were trapped inside the maze. He even grabbed more rubber bands to keep the toys in place. It was the marbles’ job to rescue C3PO and Optimus, but they had to traverse the maze and bypass all of the traps along the way!
What was learned:
Engineer explored the concept of designing and creating a maze.
He got a lesson in angles and velocity, as he realized the marbles would fly off the geoboard if moved too quickly. They also got stuck in the traps if they weren’t traveling at the right angle.
I absolutely loved how Engineer took charge of this activity! He designed the geoboard maze, expanded on my concept, and came up with some great pretend play to go along with it.
Mary Catherine is mama to a budding engineer whose favorite question is “why?” She is a pre-k teacher with a background in teaching kindergarten and a passion for early literacy. Mary Catherine loves lazy days with her son, messy art projects, science fiction books, and dark chocolate. You can find her blogging at Fun-A-Day! Come connect with Mary Catherine on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
I love how this DIY Geoboard Maze combines spatial learning and lots of fun, too. It’s funny; I can totally see my son using those rubber bands the same way, too! Thanks, Mary Catherine!