Thursday, April 11, 2013

Mazes On The Web
Mazes are a-maze-ing!

There are a bunch of resources on the internet all about mazes.  We'll explore some of the websites focusing on the younger generation first, and then get into some more nitting-gritting maze stuff later!

Solving Mazes with Kids:
  • Krazy Dad - Totally packed with downloadable mazes for kids of all ages!  He's got easy, intermediate, challenging, tough, and super tough mazes available.  He even has animal and dinosaur shaped mazes!  If you've got a kid hooked on mazes, this is a great resource.  They are free, but he does ask for a small donation, if you can.  KrazyDad also has a ton of other puzzles on his website, so if you Sudoku and other math puzzles, check those out too!
  •  Print Activities - Also packed with mazes for kids!  What's nice here is that they have themed mazes, like holidays, sports, and fairy tales.  They also have a bunch of letter shaped mazes and counting mazes, which would be useful in the classroom.
  •  Primary Games - This website has a bunch of interactive online maze games that are pretty fun...for a variation from the paper/pencil type. 
Making Mazes with Kids:
  • Kids Activity Blog - This blog has several ideas for creating mazes with kids.  Here they make a poster-sized maze for their matchbox cars to drive through!  And here they make a lego maze for the matchbox cars.  Both fun and hands on mazing!
  • History of Mazes and Labyrinths - This website is really cool!  Older kids would have fun reading through some of the information and history of mazes.  This article gives some detailed information about maze creation.
  • Momtastic - This blog shows how to make a marble run maze out of recycled boxes and straws!
  • Our Scribbled Walls - Totally ingenious masking tape floor maze...for puzzling and driving cars!
Just do a search, and you will come up with a bunch of creative ideas for mazes and a ton of free printable mazes to boot.  The ones above were just my personal favorites!  Oh, and don't forget, if you don't want to actually draw a maze yourself, there are free maze generation programs out there too.  I'm just not a big fan of those personally.

So now a little bit about mazes for older kids (meaning adults too!)   I had no idea there was so much to mazes, but apparently you can get quite technical.  Especially when it comes to writing computer programs for drawing and solving mazes.  If you are interested in that type of thing at all, you've got to check out this website, Think Labyrinth!  It is packed with some pretty in-depth discussions about types of mazes and solving algorithms.  There is also a beautiful "Spiralstorm Maze Gallery" filled with hand-drawn spiral mazes...lovely to look at and fun to solve!  I'm sure younger kids would get a kick out of solving these mazes too.

Another fun website for older solvers is Click Mazes.  It is also packed full of mazes to solve, some standard mazes, but many other different kinds of mazes with interesting rules.  There is also another way to design mazes described here.

Try making some mazes with your kids today...from a masking tape floor maze that toddlers would rather run their cars around on than actually try to solve, to an intricate paper maze with lots of twists and turns, there are a variety of ways you can play and create with mazes!

No comments: