STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, four closely-connected disciplines, but the core of STEM learning is an ability to innovate, think creatively and solve problems, while working in collaboration with others. Nurturing STEM skills is so important as they help kids excel not only in school but in their future careers. 

In fact, according to the National Skills Commission, STEM jobs are growing more than twice as fast as other occupations in Australia. In a 21st-century world, the ability to utilise technology, ask big questions and engage in scientific thinking is crucial for us all.

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Why a Marble Maze Is a Good STEM Activity for Kids

Setting up a marble maze is a fun STEM project for a rainy weekend, and can also be a fantastic way to develop your child’s cognitive and creative abilities. A marble maze is a cool introduction to basic science principles, teaching kids about gravity, motion, friction and spatial awareness. 

A marble maze is also a puzzle that requires a solution, giving kids the chance to flex their problem-solving abilities and experiment with trial and error. Meanwhile, the hands-on process of making a marble maze requires creativity and logic, while drawing, cutting and gluing enhances fine motor skills. 

What You’ll Need

A marble maze is a fun STEM activity for kids that helps them develop their fine motor skills.

How to Make a Marble Maze

A simple cardboard box will form the base of the marble maze.

Step 1: Take a cardboard box lid and encourage your child to sketch out a maze design inside it using a pencil and ruler. Designs can be as intricate or as basic as they like.

While constructing a marble maze is a fun activity, it’s also a great way to improve your child’s fine motor skills.

Step 2: Decide where the end of the maze will be. Cut a small marble-shaped hole here using scissors. Preschoolers and early primary kids might need a hand from an adult here. 

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Cut-up straws and playdough are the perfect materials to create the walls of the marble maze.

Step 3: Now it’s time to make the maze three-dimensional. Use pieces of cut-up straws and playdough to build the walls of the maze. Stick everything in place using a glue gun.

Use either glass marbles for your marble maze, or let your kids make their own out of clay and let them air-dry.

Step 4: Next, you need marbles! Get the kids to rustle some up from their bedrooms – or get them to create their own by rolling balls of air-dry clay and painting them. Note that the air-dry clay will need to dry overnight before painting. 

Ready, set, go! This fun marble maze activity will give your child hours of fun and boost their STEM skills.

Step 5: Once the glue is dry, the maze is ready to use. Place the marble (or clay ball) at the start of the maze and see if your child can get it to fall through the hole at the end of the maze by carefully rotating and tilting the box.

Hot Tip: Working with two or more kids? Separate them and challenge each child to create a maze without anyone else seeing it. Once their mazes are complete, swap them over and set a timer to see who can solve their maze the fastest.

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