There are a few articles on Learn From Play about the benefits of playing card games and our last article was about the benefits of playing memory games or matching games but this article is looking at the benefits of another game you will find on the Learn From Play site – Maze.
Based on the labyrinth, invented by the ancient Greeks, a maze is a collection of paths interspersed with dead ends where the path is blocked. A maze player must move from the entrance to the exit or to a given location such as the centre. There can be single or multiple paths to achieve this goal.
For children, mazes teach problem solving skills, patience and persistence. By navigating their way through a maze, students use their spatial skills and ability to visually map ahead to see if the path they are on is clear or blocked. Mazes are also a fun way to teach fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination without the repetition of writing out letters and words.
There are dozens of maze games on Learn From Play as each book has its own distinct version of the game. There are 3 possible levels for students to complete – Easy, Medium and Hard and each of these has students use the arrow keys to move a book inspired icon through the maze in the shortest possible time.
The number of possible twists and turns increases as the level of difficulty rises but so does the time allowed for completing the maze from 90 seconds for the easy level, 120 seconds for the medium level and 180 seconds for the final hard level. This ensures students are not going to spend too long on any one maze and allows them to build the skill of working under pressure – albeit without any serious consequence should the time expire.
There are an almost infinite number of maze configuration possibilities for each level and the refresh button at the top of the screen resets the maze should a child find the given maze not to their particular liking.
Have a look at the mazes on each book on the Learn From Play website and let your students see if they can find their favourite. Students could return to their favourite maze regularly and by graphing their results they could see if they improve their speed of completing the maze as their problem solving skills improve.