Wednesday, August 3, 2011

ball maze...

we've had two large cardboard tubes sitting around the house from some oilcloth i purchased a few months ago...

they've gone from room to room, inside and outside... serving as tunnels, ramps, amplifiers...

i started wondering what else we can do with them.

leo was a little concerned at first, since he wasn't quite sure he wanted to cut it up.  but once reassured we still had one left that wouldn't be cut, he was intrigued.

we gathered some materials... (i think i went a little overboard with the saw... a utility knife worked just fine.  better, even.)

cut the long tube into smaller sections...

and then cut those sections in half...

then hot glued them onto a large piece of cardboard.

we gathered random things we thought might roll... (i had a pretty good suspicion that one of the things in that bucket wouldn't roll, but leo just wanted to make sure...)

climbed up onto the stepstool, and tried it out!

in the end, the ping pong balls and the wooden balls worked out the best...

some larger things needed to be pushed along...

once leo added the tunnels, the ping pong balls were the only ones to make it through.

a great activity for shape identification, predictions (will it or won't it roll?), gross motor (we eventually tried to throw the ping pong balls onto the ramps from a distance), and just some general fun!


  1. I love the idea especially since I have all the necessary stuff in my recycle box!

  2. Found you through Pinterest. Just made this for my son, Thanks!!

  3. @ melissa... i'm glad you enjoyed it! i'd love to see pictures :)

  4. I just made this too, thought you'd like to see. Thanks for the idea!

  5. Ok, that is cool! My kids are off school 2 days this week adn trying to find ideas to keep them busy.=)

  6. going to make this right now! great idea.

  7. What a great idea!! I am going to have to have my husband help me with this over our thanksgiving break.

  8. @ steph... hope you enjoyed it!

    @ amy & tim... did you make it? how did it turn out?

    @ heidi... good luck... it's pretty easy... and enjoy your thanksgiving break!

  9. Just shared your idea on my blog, such a great toy!

  10. Great little project! Just posted on Craft Gossip as a little activity for kids during the holiday break!

  11. Thank you for this idea! I'm saving our next large box for this purpose ...

  12. This is such a fun idea! I would love to feature this on Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle. Feel free to stop by and grab a featured button. Thanks!

  13. My husband said, "That kid seems perfectly content." What a great way to save money and entertain the kids!

  14. Gravity always wins...
    Love this idea and will use it, perhaps on a smaller scale, with kids in school. Thx! Karen

  15. I am a Director of an Early Childhood center and LOVE anything to do with recycling and KIDS!

  16. I made a rough version of this and my 3 grandsons LOVED IT! I put a paper cup at the bottom level - they kept track each time they got the ball in! FUN! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Love this! Shared link/pin here

  18. Love your ball maze! You inspired us to make one :-) We've linked to you and also to a pin of your ball maze - hope this is ok

  19. This Ball maze is fabulous. We made a small marble ball run based on an idea from the Made by Joel website, then I saw your one on pinterest. I repinned it and have now added it to my blog with a link back to your site. We can't wait to try a large version. Thanks.

  20. I'm glad I boldly clicked on despite Pinterest's warning that other users have reported the link as spammy or inappropriate. Why are people ever so mean? This is a wonderful tut which will brighten up many dull rainy days, thank you so much!!!

    1. i'm glad you did, too! i had to take care of that with pinterest, and it's been resolved :) i'm happy you took the chance!

  21. Just found this on Pinterest, off to share with Facebook!

  22. Great idea! I just added it to my list for Cardboard Boxes Up-cycled!

  23. I'm the Editorial Assistant for Fun Family Crafts and I wanted to let you know that we have featured your project! You can see it here:

    If you have other kid friendly crafts, we'd love it if you would submit them. If you would like to display a featured button on your site, you can grab one from the right side bar of your post above. Thanks for a wonderful project idea!

    1. thanks so much, cindy! i know it's a long time ago... but i checked out your site when you posted it, and i really appreciate you including it on your site :) i've sort of been out of the loop for a little while, but i will definitely submit more if i come up with some good stuff!

  24. Neat! I would have loved this as a kid! : )

  25. I love this idea! I've featured your ball maze as my #PinOfTheDay on my blog!

  26. This is so clever. I included it, as well as some other fun ideas for upcycling boxes, today in a hint on why to save holiday gift boxes if you have a little one in the house.

    1. thank you jennifer for including this project on your site! and for stopping by!

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