Looking for some fun and engaging ways to have kindergarten kids participate in problem solving (and creating), I turned to my trusty friend, Lego. Like many division one teachers, I use Lego often because it has so many applications. But as the 2014-15 school year came to a close, I was looking for a challenge. So, what I did was created a maze with Lego that a marble would travel to and showed this to the kids. I then challenged the kids to make a maze that would fit the marble (there had to be three empty spaces for width at all times).
Here is my exemplar for the kids. I used one solid colour so they could see the marble path. I then closed off the ends so the marble would not fall out.
What happened when the kids went to work was truly amazing – the make spirit and problem solving skills came alive and the final products passed all of my expectations. Kids created tunnels and obstacles. There were dead ends and ramps – all of which were problems the kids created, while also having a working solution for their maze.
I strongly suggest trying this with you division one kids – you will be pleasantly surprised!