Making Marvelous Mazes - 3 Easy Ways

A few years ago I had a great idea about having students create mazes from boxes and paper. I thought they would like making these, but I was wrong. They LOVED it!

It never occurred to me they would enjoy mazes so much, but they really do. They try so hard to make all the paths work and have dead ends. Their mazes are also decorated so creatively. 

Since this is such a fabulous project we have tried this challenge many times and in different ways.

STEM Challenges- Build mazes! This blog post gives tips about creating three different kinds of mazes. Links to the resources are included! Easy materials and easy prep challenges are the best!



The three styles of mazes we complete every year are:

  • Paper Mazes
  • Straw Mazes
  • Plate Mazes
The materials we use for the mazes cause them to turn out differently and we have tried some variations of these. I will add some links at the end of this post to share other things we have tried!


Paper Mazes

The paper marble maze is the one we tried first many years ago. I used gift boxes as the maze bottom. Some kind of box is a good idea- a gift box, a soft drink flat, or the lid to the boxes of copy paper. The size of these boxes is a good one for a maze and it's also a way to keep up with the marble or able as it travels through the maze.

STEM Challenges- Build mazes! This blog post gives tips about creating three different kinds of mazes. Links to the resources are included! Easy materials and easy prep challenges are the best!

After trying this maze a few times we have discovered that card stock works great and we have also learned how to fold the edges to make the maze walls. We usually fold the paper in an 'L' shape and this makes a wall and a surface that can be taped to the floor of your box.

STEM Challenges- Build mazes! This blog post gives tips about creating three different kinds of mazes. Links to the resources are included! Easy materials and easy prep challenges are the best!

By joining many of these 'L' shapes together you can create longer paths and paths that turn.

STEM Challenges- Build mazes! This blog post gives tips about creating three different kinds of mazes. Links to the resources are included! Easy materials and easy prep challenges are the best!

I did have some students one day that didn't like working inside the box and they asked if they could cut the corners of the box to open it out flat. They made all the walls of their maze and when it was finished they lifted the edges of the box and taped them back together. 

TIP: Pre-cut the strips of card stock with your paper cutter. You can have students do this, but I have found that they cut the paper too narrow and it does get wasted.

Straw Mazes

This variation of the maze turned out to be really fun for my younger students. We call it a straw maze!

We use a piece of foam board as the base of the maze and the walls are entirely made of straws.

STEM Challenges- Build mazes! This blog post gives tips about creating three different kinds of mazes. Links to the resources are included! Easy materials and easy prep challenges are the best!

We use clear tape to hold the straws in place. Above you can see the bendy part of the pink straw. I found straws at Dollar Tree one day that had a very long flexible part and they worked great to make curves in our mazes.

STEM Challenges- Build mazes! This blog post gives tips about creating three different kinds of mazes. Links to the resources are included! Easy materials and easy prep challenges are the best!

I also really liked the black foam board as the maze base.

TIP: Buy foam board at Dollar Tree if you can. It's obviously only a dollar and they have white and black. Foam board at Wal Mart or Target costs a lot more!

Plate Mazes

This version of a maze is one we tried most recently.

I gave each team a large heavy-duty paper plate and half sheets of many colors of copy paper. They had to make the obstructions in the paths of the maze and also a clear path that a marble could follow.

They loved these and really worked hard to be creative!

STEM Challenges- Build mazes! This blog post gives tips about creating three different kinds of mazes. Links to the resources are included! Easy materials and easy prep challenges are the best!

We added straws to the materials for this version of the maze. Students mentioned that the marble kept getting away and they needed a 'bumper'. When I heard this I thought it was a great idea and I grabbed a bag of straw pieces I had saved. These made perfect bumpers for the marble to hit in order to stay on its path.

STEM Challenges- Build mazes! This blog post gives tips about creating three different kinds of mazes. Links to the resources are included! Easy materials and easy prep challenges are the best!

Which type of maze will you try? 

LINKS to Maze Variations and Resources:



STEM Challenges- Build mazes! This blog post gives tips about creating three different kinds of mazes. Links to the resources are included! Easy materials and easy prep challenges are the best!






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