Have you ever looked at your toddler playing with a maze toy and wondered — how does something so simple keep them this engaged?
There’s actually a reason why mazes are popular with kids! Moving beads and blocks along a string towards a destination may look simple to adults, but it requires a child to focus several of their developing abilities on the task at hand. From motor skills to cognitive abilities, these toys gently nudge a child to rise to the challenge, rewarding them with new skils along the way. Bonus — they’re super fun!
Let’s take a look at the benefits of mazes and some of the different types that are available for children today (there’s also a freebie in store for you, so keep reading!).
What are the benefits of mazes for kids?
- Improves fine motor control – A 2D paper maze requires your child to hold a pencil and find their way from one end to the other, staying within a border. While they remain occupied in this enjoyable game, working the maze helps hone their grip and steady their movement. A 3D maze can be just as helpful and even more fun. In such mazes, they will have to hold and move different elements in the toy, which will also hone their fine motor skills.
- Develops visual skills – While working on a maze, your child has to scan the entire paper or toy to find a way from one end to another. This hones their visual motor skills which they will need to write and draw in the future. Mazes also help build hand-eye coordination and spatial recognition.
- Helps with problem solving – Working a maze is solving a problem of how to get from one side to the other. This will require your child to plan ahead, try different strategies, and figure out the best solution. Getting quick with mazes is a sign that your child has aced a certain set of strategies that they can apply in other games and problems as well.
- Helps develop other cognitive skills – To find the right solution for a maze, your child will have to remember when they run into a block, and tweak their movements accordingly the next time. This sharpens their memory, focus, and concentration.
- Builds patience and persistence – Mazes come with all sorts of difficulty levels. Even the simplest mazes need patience to solve. The feeling of joy and accomplishment at the end will push your child to keep at it, building their persistence and perseverance.
- Gives confidence – Solving anything comes with a flush of pride, even for adults! A maze is no different for children. Getting good at solving mazes will give your little one a sense of confidence in their cognitive abilities and get them excited about taking on new challenges.
Mazes that your toddler will love
Suitable for 1+ years
This lovely garden-themed activity set is the perfect stack and maze toy for your little one. It comes with a wooden stacker and beads and baubles with garden themed illustrations strung along a bright yellow maze. With this toy, they can build flowers and buzz around like bees all day long!
Suitable for 2+ years
Is your toddler starting to learn about different animals, the sounds they make, and where they stay? Then this beautifully illustrated mix and match jungle maze is sure to be an easy hit! As your child matches the heads and bodies of the animals and leads them to their homes in the jungle, they will get a chance to explore their imagination and learn more about their favorite animals.
Suitable for 2+ years
Do you think your child is ready for more of a challenge? Then this cube might be just the thing for them. This animal-themed activity cube is a five-sided wooden toy with a host of different activities including a maze, shape sorting, and a chalkboard. The top of the cube is designed like a maze where you can move beads and baubles to help fishes and frogs find their way around the pond!
Suitable for 4+ years
Help a little boy get to his birthday party in time by finding the shortest route! This quick and simple activity sheet is designed as a maze for your child to work through. Click here to download it for free and get your child started with their maze craze!