Monday, March 14, 2011

Paper Plate Marble Maze

The older children helped me put together a game for their younger siblings, today. We saw the idea on Judy Jower's Flickr pages.

She actually has given hers a St. Patrick's theme, and has instructions, with all the measurements, and thinking done for you. We made ours the hard way, in honor of National Pi Day.

First, we used a compass to draw concentric circles, an inch or so apart, out from the center a paper plate.



Then, the children measured the diameters of the circles, and multiplied them by 3.14, to get an approximated circumference of each one. We subtracted an inch from each circumference, and pieced, two inch wide strips of cardboard (cut from a cereal box) to make the lengths.


We cut the strips, with a few tabs (see the picture above), and sliced lines in the circles, with a razor blade, to slip the tabs through, to secure the strips to the plate. Then, we taped a thin piece across the gap of each strip, to complete the circles, and cut the middle circle out completely. So, the top looked like this...


...and the bottom looked like this, with the tabs taped down to the plate.


We made small snips around one end of an empty toilet paper tube, folded down the tabs, cut the bottom off a Ziploc bag...


...and taped the cut end, of the Ziploc side of the bag, to the other end of our tube, gluing the tabbed end to the bottom of the plate, and securing it with tape. Wow! Does that make any sense at all? If not maybe you can figure it out from the picture, it's really not that complicated.


Finally, we added a few small, round, jingle-bells. Ideally, they'd be marbles, but sadly we've lost all of ours (make of that what you will).


The object is to tilt the plate...


...to move the bells through the maze...


...down the hole, and into the bag.





The younger children (who are all past the toddler-choking-on-bells-or-marbles stage), when they finally got a turn, declared it to be terrifically fun. And, trust me, it's harder to get the bells in the bag, than it looks.

For more fun with math, check out this week's Math Monday link-up, hosted by Joyful Learner.

It's great to be a homeschooler.

12 comments:

Debbie said...

This is very cool!

Phyllis said...

I knew you would do something really cool! And fun.

love2teach2day said...

Awesome activity for Pi Day!!! :)

Judy Jowers said...

The tabs and the bells are a fascinating modification :)

Elle Belles Bows said...

Fabulous and FUN!

Kerri

Ticia said...

That is awesome. Now, am I willing to collect the cardstock and such.......

Christy said...

That is very cool!

Toodlebugz said...

Ok, I'm back with another question. BTW thank you for the links. I now am wondering where you get all of these great ideas? I noticed all of your rainbow posts and wondered if you just google these things and then do them or are most from books. I always seem to get in a rut doing the research (overwhelmed by to many options) and then never follow through with doing them. This marble one is awesome and I know my son would love it. Thank you for all of these great posts!!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Toodlebugz - I Google a LOT, and read a lot. I try to post links to the source the idea came from, unless it's so common I wouldn't know who to link, or my own idea.

Sigalit Chana said...

Sooo very cool. You guys are so creative =)

Raising a Happy Child said...

How neat! Clearly you haven't lost ALL of your marbles

Joyful Learner said...

What a useful way to incorporate the Pi! Now, my question is: where do you store all these great projects?