Parent Made Developmental Toys: Integrating Parenting, Self-Esteem, Literacy & Fun
Wire and Bead Mazes Loop and zigzag the beads along the wire; help eye tracking and hand coordination.

You can make single wire board. It is good for infants and toddlers. It is only one line to concentrate on. The base is 7 by 3 inches

Older Children will like the two wire board. It has a loop and a curly track. The base is 7 by 7 inches

1. Measure and saw the base piece. 2. Sand all and comers very smooth. 3. Cut one or two coat hangers with pliers. Make the cuts about 2 inches from the hooked part.
4. Straighten out the wire to take out the bends. To make a loop, wrap the wire around tube or pipe. To make the curls, bend the wire over the tube.
5. Choose a bead pattern to put on your wires (See the directions below) Put the beads on the wire and make sure they slide smoothly around your concern if not, rebend the wires so the beads roll along them easily.
6. Drill holes in the corners of the base board the same diameter as the wire.
7. Put the beads on and insert the wires in the base board. If the wire is loose in the hole, add some glue to help hold it in place. Make sum it does not come through the board.
8. Sign and date the underside of your maze.

Bead Patterns
You can teach color, number and size concepts with the beads.

For example, on the two wire maze, use 5 beads on each one In the same sequence- blue, green, white, red, black. That way the child can lead with the blues or you can ask them to push the red beads. You can say that there are two black beads. Or that all together there are ten beads.

On the small one wire base, there are a sequence of large and small beads large white, small green, large black, small white, large green. You can ask the child to push the small white bead or find the two green beads. Or you can add the small and large beads to get 5 beads.

Write or draw your pattern here.

What are the kinds of concepts you want your to learn from the maze? Write some statements and turn them into questions here:

Kids (and adults) like to play with the mazes. As you push the beads around the curls and loops, you exercise your fingers, wrist and arm. They become more bendable and coordinated.

Infants can watch the beads move as you push them. They will like the sounds as they fall and bump one another. They will let their eyes follow the brightly colored beads.

Toddlers will like to push the beads themselves They will have to turn and adjust their wrists. This is a hard job for them. They do not usually bend at that joint. They will also learn about gravity and cause and effect-- as they push the beads, sometimes they fail and sometimes they need to be pushed up.

Preschoolers and older kids will like pushing the beads. You can add all the color, number and size lessons. Start with statements first--"you pushed the red bead, two beads fell. next comes the small bead. As you describe the children's actions, they hear the words.
Then you can ask questions- are you pushing the red bead? how many fell? do you have a big or a small bead? The children will be glad to answer when they already know the answer. It is scary to be asked a question when you don't know the right words.

Adults will like the look of the mazes They are like mini-sculptures. Put them out for guests and they will push the beads around too. You can brag that you made them!

There Is another BIG lesson in the maze. It is eye tracking. When you read you follow words across the page with your eyes. This skill is very basic but needs lots of practice. The kids watch the beads. It Is just like following words. So playing with the maze is getting your children ready to read!!!

Return to the Top of the Page Return to the Top
Fast Facts on Literacy (Refresh to see another fact)

Ohio Literacy Resource Center - Celebrating 10 Years of Enhancing Adult Literacy 1993-2003 This page
and is maintained by the OLRC .
Follow us on
Facebook Twitter