Friday, October 7, 2011

Marble Maze

Make one of these cardboard towers (just follow the steps below), and your kids will be set for a rolling good time. The object is to see whose marble rolls the farthest once it exits the maze.
  • 7 long wrapping paper or mailing tube
  • 2 empty plastic margarine tubs
  • Box of uncooked rice
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Extra-large rubber bands
  1. Construct Tower Posts: Start with the left one. Set a long wrapping paper or mailing tube on end. Draw a pencil line from top to bottom, then mark five points along it 2, 8, 10, 19, and 21 inches from the top. With a craft knife (adults only), cut a hole around each mark that's just big enough to accommodate the end of another tube. For the right post, position the holes 4, 6, 13, 15, and 25 inches from the top, then cut one more hole (where the marble will exit the maze) in the opposite side of the tube 25 3/4 inches from the top.
  2. Anchor the Posts: Make a base for each post by cutting a hole in the bottom of a small empty plastic margarine tub. Put the lid on the tub, then set the tub upside down on the floor and pour uncooked rice into the hole, filling the tub. Fit the bottom of the post into the hole in the tub.
  3. Marble Maze - Step 3  
    Make Tunnels: Next, transform four more tubes into crossings. Holding each one horizontally, cut a U-shaped opening in the upper wall at one end and in the lower wall at the opposite end, as shown. For the tower's lowest tunnel, cut a U-shaped opening in one end only of a fifth tube. Then cut peepholes in the tops of each tube.
  4. Assemble the Tower: Starting at the top of the tower, fit the tunnel ends into the post holes, as shown in the photo above, so that the ends with openings in the upper wall are raised and the uncut end of the fifth tunnel extends to the exit hole. Finally, if your tower is a bit wobbly, you can stretch extra-large rubber bands or loop string around the posts for stability.

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