Friday, December 16, 2011

Maze game for long car rides

We are going south for Christmas this year.  My lovely in-laws live in Texas, so we're driving down to visit for a couple weeks.  Yes, driving.  The drive from MT to TX will take us 2 1/2 days.  That's a lot of time in the car for my 5 and 7 y.o. kids.  I've been brainstorming on ways to make the time in the car more tolerable for everyone.

I was looking for quiet yet engaging activities my kids could do in the car when I ran across this pinterest pin:

                                                 Source: via Rikka @ Ricochet and Away! on Pinterest

The idea behind these little guys is that a marble is inserted inside the pouch.  Your kids can then push the marble through the path or maze that was top-stitched on the pouch.  The results:  a quiet interactive toy you can whip out of your purse at a moment's notice.  Cool, eh?  The original post is by Jeanine and Amy of Serving Pink Lemonade can be found HERE.  There entire blog is a real treat for parents of young children, filled with all sorts of cool kid-friendly projects.  Please check it out and show them some love.

I made a bigger, more complicated version of their maze game in hopes that it will occupy my kids' minds that much longer.  Fingers crossed!  Here's how I did it:

  • A rectangle of fabric.  I used a medium weight cotton measuring 12" by 20".
  • Tear away stabilizer.  I used Sulky Totally Stable Iron-On Tear Away.
  • A marble.  I used a plastic marble from my kids' Hungry Hippo game.  
  • Basic sewing supplies: sewing machine, thread, iron, scissors, etc.

I folded my rectangle of fabric in half, right sides together.  I ironed the fold.
I stitched around the outer perimeter using a 1cm seam allowance and leaving a 5cm opening in the seam.  I trimmed the corners off and carefully turned it using the hole in the side seam.  I ironed it flat.

I cut out a piece of tear-away stabilizer to fit over the fabric.  I had to overlap two pieces in order to make it large enough.
I drew a 1 inch grid on the stabilizer and used it to draw a maze.

I ironed the maze drawing onto the fabric and stitched over every line.
 I removed the stabilizer.

 I inserted the marble into the side opening and top-stitched around the outer edge of the fabric.  Then I restitched over all the maze lines to ensure they were nice and secure.
I added the letters of my children's names and some stars with a permanent marker.

Ricochet's Maze Game Rules:

Variation A:
Simply move the marble from one star to the next.  Count Mississippi's until the circuit has been completed.  Play again and try to beat your previous Mississippi count.

Variation B:
Starting at the first letter of your first name, move the marble through the maze, spelling out you first and last names.  Try it again with your sibling's name.  Try it again spelling any words you can come up with using the letters on hand.

Variation C:
Flip over the maze, hiding the letters and stars.  Pretend your marble is mouse searching for food.  Make sure your mouse searches every nook and cranny for food.

Hopefully I can come up with some more games and create a couple more mazes for them to play with before we leave.  Fingers crossed that this will make our long drive more bearable!

Happy Crafting and big hugs from Montana,


  1. What a great crafted game for children!!! I love it. Now I know what I can make for my friends' kids. Do share more stuff like this, for kids and babies!

    Did your children enjoy playing this game during the car ride? I as a child would get carsick if I read or anything like that during a car ride... But this game is great for around the house as well. Very good for their motor and analytic skills.

  2. I keep getting ideas on how to make more variations of this game. You could make it "3D", like have all sorts of arms like an octopus (or the branches of a tree). You could add more than one marble - I wonder what we could do with that? You could have the game like a race between the kids, if they each have one of their own. Wonderful inspiration!

  3. Very cool! So much better for them than staring at a TV screen for hours. Thanks for linking to that blog...there is some awesome stuff on there!
    Have fun on your trip!

  4. I saw those little ones and pinned them too. I was planning on making a bigger version as well so thanks for giving me some more ideas!! I really appreciate it :)

  5. GREAT FOR SICK KIDS! Today, I happen to have a 4 year old who is well enough to be out of bed, but not enough to go outside. I am going to make this after our promised game of Candyland

  6. I love the maze idea, yours is great! And thanks for the link to Serving Pink Lemonade, I'll be getting lots of ideas!


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! No-reply commentors don't get to read my witty replies, and that's just sad.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...