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A Race to the Finish!. Nicholas, Aaden and Luke playing with the Marble Maze Cheryl Baydo Spring 2011.

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a race to the finish

A Race to the Finish!

Nicholas, Aaden and Luke playing with the Marble Maze

Cheryl Baydo

Spring 2011


Over the past couple of Explorations times Nicholas has chosen to play with the Marble Maze. Last week he showed great leadership skills and helped a Kindergarten buddy by showing him how to put the pieces together to allow the marbles to flow. On this occasion Nicholas began playing alone, setting up the maze andAaden and Luke joined in.


The boys were working hard adjusting the maze and making two tracks for the marbles to run down. There was excitement from Aaden, “There is a lot to come down Nico, Whoo here we go! Ahh, this is crazy.” The excited conversation back and forth between Nicholas and Aaden continued. Nicholas, “When I say, do it. One at at time.” Aaden, “I did do one at a time.”Nicholas,“I’ll do yellow you do red. One, two, three, go!” Aadencontinued his enthusiasm, “Ohh wait its coming off! Wow!” Nicholas, “leave it like that and take more marbles (all talking excitedly that it was clogging up) until it fills all the way.“Aaden asked Nicholas if a marble was a clogging one and Nicholas said no. I asked what made a clogging one and Aaden replied, “A big one, this is a clogging one.”


The play continued for over 45 minutes and they had a goal to overload their maze.Nicholas was sorting out clogging ones and none clogging ones while the boys were continually adding marbles. Aaden, “OhhNico there’s too many.”Nicholas replied, “We are going to overload it until it fills up the whole thing. Is that what you did (to Aaden)?”A: Yes. N: Try these ones too. A: We are going to put them all in. Luke: We are going to count for everyone that goes past. A: It’s clogging up here. We need to fill up more. N: This is clogging you put a big one in here. A: I did? N: Yes A: Oh snap… There is no big one hereN:Yathis is the big one. The excited conversation carried on with the boys all shouting “It’s working, it’s working!” when the marbles fell continuously after being unclogged.Excitement “Oh my, there are so many!!!!”

what it means
What it means
  • Nicholas, Aaden and Luke, you worked together to build and design a stable marble maze! You should be proud of your ability to problem solve and work together towards a common goal. You were like engineers finding the right way to support the maze and acting like scientists by trying different possibilities. I really enjoyed watching you work together and enjoyed the excitement about the maze clogging up!
opportunities and possibilities
Opportunities and Possibilities
  • Marble runs encourage children to use 3D dimension and design skills in the building process.  They must be able to visualize what the structure will look like as they build and make sure that pieces will fit together in all directions.  These skills are important in developing special perception and are used in something as common as driving.  In addition, a marble run will help your children to understand the affects of gravity when you are playing with the marble maze.    You can explain that the track must always be sloped downward to take advantage of gravity.  A discussion about the force that is needed to move something up an incline is the beginning of understanding physics.  When coming up with their marble run plans, the marble run toy will help your kids to understand the limitations of structures and give them insight into what supports are needed to make a sturdy structure.  These are the beginning skills of a structural or civil engineer. http://hubpages.com/hub/Marble-Run-Toys