Engineering Week - Homemade Marble Maze

We are launching Engineering Week with one of my favorite activities: Marble Mazes! In this STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) challenge for kids, your kids will create a paper plate marble maze game inspired by pinball machines using just a few common craft supplies and a marble.

By using the design process, your kids can come up with a great marble maze. First, identify the problem: Creating a marble maze that a marble can roll through from the start to finish line. Next, brainstorm and design how you want to set up your marble maze. Then, build it. When you finish building, it’s time to test it out. I had a couple of pieces that needed reinforces or fixing for mine to work successfully. Keep testing until you have the perfect marble maze!

To learn more about the design process, check out PBS KIDS Design Squad website, and watch this video from Ready Jet Go!

Build Your Own Marble Maze

Supplies:

  • Paper plate or small cardboard box
  • Scissors
  • Paper to make paper strips
  • Tape – I was out so I used a glue stick and glue dots
  • Marble – if you don’t have a marble, get creative! I used a stone and a Cadbury mini egg and both worked.
  • If you have Wikki Stix in your craft stash, now would be a great time to use these
  • Straws
  • Other craft supplies to build the maze walls, bridges, and tunnels

Directions:

  1. Start by thinking through the design and decide where your start and finish are going to be.  
  2. By using the various craft supplies, create simple arches, columns, walls, chutes, and more using strips of construction paper or other materials.
  3. Children can make ramps and pulleys, too.
  4. Let the kids get busy creating and testing out their pinball machines with marbles.
  5. Keep trying until you have a successful marble maze!

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