Marble Day – Marble Maze(s)

The Marble Maze the kids made for Camp Grandmama and Grampy Campy was a HUGE success.   All we needed was Foam Board, toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, duct tape, funnels and, of course….marbles.    We had also gone to the Tractor Supply Store and Goodwill to see if we could find other parts for our marble maze.

Do NOT underestimate the hilarity of toilet paper still on the toilet paper roll.

Be sure each child gets the same stuff.  They can trade later

Ben got creative with golf tees.  Part of his “Great Wall of China”

And here is Ben’s finished “Cupsy Doozy”

I will post the videos of their mazes later (somehow, I don’t have pictures of Charlie and R.J.s mazes)

But…this Marble Maze thing really took off.  Each set of kids at CGGC wanted to make a marble maze.  Here are Kevin, Carson and Luci’s versions of the now famous Marble Maze

Carson's Maze featured a spinning funnel in the middle

Kevin's maze featured see through pipes and a bend in the road

Luci's maze featured a frilly funnel

But, it didn’t end there.  Sophie and Cooper were so impressed they wanted to make a maze at THEIR camp

Really, Mom, I DID brush her hair

Cooper just LOVED the stickers.

Our nephew, Dan, had visited while the young’uns were making their maze and lent a hand.  He wondered if perhaps we might make mazes at Thanksgiving…

And so….

I put a box together of stuff (see first picture on this post) for each family and … while Mr. H and I were organizing dinner….everyone worked on their mazes (brilliant!!)

In this corner: My brother Jim and his family. Jim brought a the task. More on this later. (Aren't they cute?)

In this corner: My brother Ralph's family. They brought a the task. (And yes, they are cute too)

Kevin always has great ideas. Sophie likes to help.

It's possible that Sophie "helped" too much, so she and Mommy are down stairs while the boys finish up

Luci looks on while Charlie and Ben help Mom sort through the "stuff"

Look how Luci's flower matches her outfit. Tres Chic

Coopers looking around to see if there is anything "extra" in the other boxes. Hmmm, this looks good

Now, stick with me.  I’m going to show you the finished products.  If you have any plans to replicate this, you might get some good ideas.  I was absolutely gob-stopped at the cleverness of this family of mine… (I love using the word gob-stopped whenever I can)

This was our entry (Brad, Mr. H. and me). Since we were getting dinner ready, we had little time, so determined that simplicity was the key. We embedded a sound chip from a Star Wars Birthday Card so when the marble passed over it....the Star Wars theme played...simple..yet elegant.

This was Ralph's family entry. I loved that they had the marble shoot through the back and come back into the front. Very clever. Fortunately, they did NOT have real fire.

Charlie, Ben, Luci and Cooper's entry (oh, and Mom and Dad, too) featured a pachinko machine and used everything in the boxes (I wonder if Cooper provided some extra help)

Kevin constructed a split in this maze. Very clever. (Oh, all right, Mom and Dad and Sophie, too)

Introducing THE WINNER. Brother Jim's family entry. In fairness (to the others) he spent every moment he could on this (Monica, Miranda, J.D., Jordan and Denise just let him go to it - they are very smart). He stayed up late that night and spent most of the next day working on this amazing maze

Now, you can end reading now if you want.  But for those of you who are interested (other than Jim), I thought it was worth a couple extra moments to take you through the glory that is….Jim’s Maze.

The artwork featured here is complements of my nephew. To begin, you put the marble in the orange sling.

The marble swings past the tree made by my niece, Miranda

The sling, with the marble safely embedded, swings over to the funnel, where the marble is dumped in. Of course, the marble must first pass the feathery toucan made by my niece, Monica.

After going through the funnel, and then through the ziggity zaggety marble runs, the marble dumps onto a wooden bridge. Such a lovely clattering noise.

After clattering down the wooden bridge, the marble will fall into yet another funnel and then spill out to a highly decorated tube. This is where it gets really interesting. the marble hits the washer that releases Santa to fly on his way before it goes through the tube. (By the way, check out the yellow birds. Very appealing. I think they will show up on a T-shirt someday)

Santa flies down to deliver some presents to the darling bungalow

You can take another look at this last bit. I think this was part of Jim's late night efforts...

For more marble ideas, and an agenda for Marble Day go to Marble Day

Now,  I just need to think of something for next Thanksgiving….

Category: Camp, Marble Day, New Traditions, What will we do today?
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(3) Comments and (3) Replies

  1. Sue Lobsiger | April 13, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Reply

    Stockpiling these ideas for my Grandma Box of tricks………..very clever, next time we visit I want to make my own Marble Maze!!


    • Jill H | April 13, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Reply

      Not sure who had more fun, the kids or the adults (as evidenced by Jimmy’s … um …. attention to the project…

  2. naquaza sims | February 2, 2012 at 11:16 am | Reply

    Question: why do we need to design a marble maze?

    • jill | February 3, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Reply

      Well, I think you will find that they are an awful lot of fun. Just look around the house and I think you will find things that can be used (funnels, cups, straws). I’d love to see pictures if you decide to make one.

  3. S. Latham | April 28, 2014 at 9:03 am | Reply

    Loved this activity. How creative. You might think about adding clear plastic tubing next time you do this.

    • jill | April 28, 2014 at 1:44 pm | Reply

      Thanks for the idea. I’m quit sure the kids would live to see the marbles travel through the tubing! Thanks again! Have a great day!

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