In an effort to brush up on Henry’s counting skills before school starts next week, I made a quick counting maze on our driveway with sidewalk chalk.
We’ve done a counting maze before with tape, indoors. And we’ve also done a simple maze outside on the driveway too. I thought combining the two might be kind of fun for the boys, and get them out of the dirt for once. [Take a look at these pictures, you don't even have to look closely, they're absolutely filthy.]
I started by drawing a grid pattern with sidewalk chalk. The boys jumped in right away to ‘help’. I have a tendency to not tell the boys what I have planned. For two reasons. One, to keep it a surprise so they’ll be excited. And two, I like to see what Henry imagines it’ll be. It might lead us in a different direction.
Henry thought we were making a field rows and went on to talk about what needed to be done that day.
While I was putting the finishing touches on the grid, Henry and George began to play on their new-found field.
I put numbers in each grid space, I chose to do up to twenty to have Henry practice recognizing all those numbers [15-20 are a struggle for him to recognize].
I started by putting the numbers 1-20 in the maze first. Working my way from the beginning to the end, just having them all adjacent to each other. Then I went back and filled in the blank spaces with random numbers.
I tried to make it kind of tricky for Henry. Sometimes I even put the correct number there, but the following spaces weren’t correct, so Henry would have to backtrack if he chose to go in that direction.
By this time Henry was curious.
He did finally ask if I was making a maze! Ding Ding Ding! Yep, I am!
Time to start. I put an arrow pointing into the maze at the start [number 1] and another arrow at the finish to get out at the 20.
Then it was time to get lost and find your way out of the maze!
Henry counted his way through. Getting stuck on ones that I tricked him with, but working his way through it. I loved seeing the concentration on his face as he thought through it.
What was hilarious to me was that George tagged along. Right next to or behind Henry, copying every move [he really is a copycat!]. But I thought this was great because he’d repeat each number as Henry said it. Awesome for George! Learning his numbers!
[See, filthy dirty.]
Henry asked me to go through the maze, too. I started out walking through it. But then pretended to be stuck on a number.
What number comes next? Oh, yes. That’s right.
Which way do I need to go? Right? Left? Straight ahead?
This was great practice for Henry to work on directions. It did get confusing at times because he was facing me, but he did really well figuring it out!
The boys also took a ride through the maze! Which proved way harder for Henry than he thought it would be.
Mazes are awesome for working on whatever your child is into at the moment. They’re also great for problem solving and finding a solution.
We’ve done a few mazes and plan to do so many more!
- Indoor Taped Number Maze
- Alphabet Maze
- A Big Chalk Maze
- String Scavenger Hunt [a maze to find your way from the beginning to the end]
Henry is 4 years old. George is 23 months old.