A-mazing Lego Fun

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

A-mazing Lego Fun

August 29, 2014

If your kids are like mine, LEGOs are a huge part of their world. Who am I kidding? I’m a big fan and also have a list of sets that I want! My boys make up games, create worlds for their mini-figures, and build fascinating structures with LEGOs. Here’s an idea for making a marble maze game using any brick that you can find.

Build a LEGO Maze

Have your kids clear the floor of all of the Legos that you step on in the middle of the night. Bring the container of pieces to a central location to work together. Share a picture of a maze and brainstorm ideas for making a custom maze. Hand each child a  square building base and a marble. Younger maze makers can use the square base from the LEGO Duplo blocks and a small toy car.

A-mazing Lego Fun

Rather than give any directions, let your kids experiment and explore. It is fascinating to see their techniques and creativity. However, if you have a child who always wants to get things right the first time, it may be helpful to do some guided troubleshooting with beginner maze makers.

Look at the size of the marble that they will be guiding through the maze. Explore the relationship of the marble size to the width of the paths you will need in the maze. Discussing where the maze will begin and end may also provide some structure for this game. Some kids might even want to draw a map of their Lego grid (super easy if you have graph paper on hand) to plan and troubleshoot a detailed path.

My younger son started building a very narrow maze that locked the marble in place. We discussed the issue and he determined the changes needed to create a wider pathway. It’s easy to change a LEGO build.

Ready to Add Complexity?

Add obstacles with mini-figures, wheels, trees, or any other objects from your collection.

Move the Marble

When your mazes are set, test them out with marbles. Are any changes in order? Will maze walls that are taller work better? If you add a tunnel, how many bricks will you need to make sure the marble will clear the height? Add a ramp into your maze to get from one section to another and see how this affects the time it takes to run through the maze.

A good maze is complex enough to present some challenge, but not so complicated that it is almost impossible to complete.

Add a little competition to the mix by timing how long it takes each family member to complete a given maze.

Take it Up Another Notch

When you are ready to step it up, propose a challenge for your children. Challenge them to make a maze using only a certain number of pieces.

For more Lego fun on Bedtime Math, be sure to download our “New Tricks for Your Bricks” printable, as don’t miss the melt in your mouth chocolate Lego daily math problem.

Photos courtesy of Beth Levine

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About the Author

Beth Levine

Beth is a mom of two young boys in the Capital Region area of New York. She blogs at TheAngelForever.com and can be found on Twitter via @TheAngelForever. Beth is a lifelong learner and educator that is always looking for new and fun ways to get kids thinking.

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