Mazes Activities – Magnetic Maze Boards or an App?

Maze vs

Magnetic Hands on Mazes versus Mazes on the iPad

Maze activities have been a fun visual motor, fine motor coordination and spatial reasoning task for students. I especially enjoyed (and so did the kids!) the magnetic maze activities we used with students on 1:1 or as provided in play centers in early childhood, Pre-K or kindergarten as a visual motor activity.

Maze magnet circle pic

Anatex Magnetic Maze – Circle Express

Maze magnet farm pic

Melissa & Doug Magnetic Number Maze

Maze magnet rectangle pic

Anatex Magnet Express

Add a grasp to the magnetic pencil and some positioning for students and reinforcement of OT goals could be accomplished.  They are also contained providing easy management in the classroom.

Using them as a labyrinth without a pencil or stylus (holding and moving the ball to the designated goal) also adds a motor planning and bilateral coordination demand to the task, more appropriate for primary aged students. One draw back however is having a variety of levels available, however, the task can certainly be graded with postural control demands with positions, eg. sitting at a table,  sitting on a ball without support, standing, kneeling, etc.

What about similar activities on the iPad?

There appears to be (or maybe I am just becoming aware of them…) more apps that use the accelerometer and gyroscope capabilities which allows the iPad to sense speed and movement. These features can allow the sensing of movements made with the iPad and provide the tools needed for labyrinth activities. Here is one of a number of iPad apps that uses those features and might provide a motor planning and bilateral demand as appropriate for your students:

Mazes Touch iconMazes Touch app for iPad /iPhone (free with ads; OS requirements: OS 4.2 or later.) allows users to either tilt the iPad or use a finger or stylus to move the target to the maze exit. This app uses the gyroscope and accelerometer features of the iPad, different from other typical visual motor, follow-in-the-lines kinda app or task.

Maze Touch pic1

Example of small mazes

Mazes Touch app provides a timer that times how long it takes you, not a count down timer that can cause anxiety about finishing the task.

Three levels of mazes (Small, Medium and Large) are available in the app, with small mazes being the easiest.

Maze Touch pic2

Examples of medium and large mazes .

This free app provides 61 small mazes, 20 medium mazes and 20 large mazes with initial download. Selecting the “Download More Mazes” link, provided another 30 mazes, 10 more of each level – plenty of mazes to keep the user practicing with increasing levels of challenge.

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Touch Maze app provides a labyrinth type of challenge for primary aged students with intermediate visual motor skills.

Pros and Cons of hands on board magnet mazes versus iPad Maze Activites:

Board magnet mazes

Pros:

  • Contained, easy to administer to students
  • Students can use at any time
  • Students can practice repeatedly
  • Visual motor activity
  • Motor planning activity

Cons:

  • One level of activity
  • Table top activity
  • No assessment data or information supplied

iPad Maze App

Pros:

  • Modify levels of use with 1:1 administration/supervision
  • Visual motor activity
  • Motor planning activity
  • Bilateral motor control activity
  • Assessment data can be collected using completion time
  • Easy to access with iPad

Cons:

  • Only used with administration/supervision or 1:1
  • Safety of use
  • Requires student to stay within app to complete (or use Guided Access)

What other pros or cons do you see? What has been your experience?

An additional thought. This type of app would be great with academic activities embedded as a goal to identify numbers, letters, math problems, phonics or other common core tasks while working on visual motor or bilateral skills. Perhaps there is an app out there like that ? Any one familiar with one?

More for your OT mTool Kit.

Carol

 

 

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About Carol Leynse Harpold, MS, AdEd, OTR/L, ATP

OTR/L with 30 years experience in pediatrics, school based therapy and adult rehabilitation. Masters of Science in Adaptive Education/Assistive Technology with 15 years experience in AT in education of elementary, middle school, secondary and post secondary students. Experience with adults with disabilities in employment and work transition.
This entry was posted in Apps for OT's, Bilateral Control, Early Childhood, Elementary School, Free apps, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Occupational Therapy, Primary Grades, Visual Motor and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Mazes Activities – Magnetic Maze Boards or an App?

  1. Michelle Prather says:

    I love Marble Math Jr. Math concepts combined with a maze.

  2. Dana Cappel says:

    Marble Math has simple mazes with math concepts embedded.

  3. Gina Koene says:

    Carol, Even when you are not here you are providing me with the BEST resources EVER! You know me so well….goNoodle is my favorite!! I have all of my classes set up and it will be my goal to get the kids up and moving regularly! If that isn’t the coolest brain break resource ever! Today we learned how to throw a javelin from a gold medal Olympian and danced like ninjas! (Pretty sure the kids loved it too!!)

    I’m also attaching 2 pics of one group in action!

    Miss you!! Keep the good stuff coming my way! Hope you are well, Gina [image: image.jpeg][image: image.jpeg] Sent from my iPad

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