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Solving Mazes, Educational Benefits for Kids

Are Mazes just a puzzle?

They could be, like any other puzzle. They can be an activity to help you relax after work or during a break. So do your cross-word puzzle, jigsaw puzzle, or solve a maze whenever you want. You can even create mazes for kids as an activity. with the right software, you can create as many mazes of any level of difficulty you would like.

Mazes, they are everywhere?

What are some of the best mazes you can think of when you were a child? Maybe a corn maze you solved every year at a local farm? How about a house of mazes at an amusement park? Sometimes the amusement park it self is laid out in a maze type of shape to help keep you in the park! Think of a department store (if you still go to those these days), how crazy is it to find your way around all the racks. Your city or town roads might feel like a maze as well.  Consider when they start changing streets to one way, now you have a maze with rules!

Practice solving mazes?

Since mazes are everywhere, does it make sense to practice solving these puzzles to help with day to day life?  Some people have a bad sense of direction, could they have lacked learning and practicing? What if they spent time practicing getting “un-lost”. Maybe this will help develop the skill of unraveling their path into this unknown environment.

Kids Educational Benefits?

So, are there educational benefits to mazes? Is it good to have your children or students solve mazes? There are many beliefs around the benefits of solving mazes. They extend far beyond just developing the problem solving skill of making it out of Macy’s department store.  Here are some of the benefits we believe are buried in solving these puzzles:

  • Problem Solving: Okay this one is obvious, you have an entrance and you have the problem of finding the exit. Great skill for life as described earlier. Also, due to the nature and variation of mazes, children need to devise their own methods to solve these puzzles. This might be following a wall, starting from the exit and moving toward the entrance, marking off “bad” areas, and/or any combination of creating approaches. 
  • Fine Motor Skills: Puzzles can be scaled to the child, but the narrow paths give goals for the child not to cross or bump into while navigating to find a solution to the puzzle.
  • Hand-Eye Coordination: The fine motor skills almost necessitate the improvement of Hand-Eye Coordination. This is the feedback to the child to say within the lines, this coordination will only get better over time, much like playing a sport and developing muscle memory.
  • Focus & Cognitive Skills: As the child focuses upon the maze; memory, reasoning, planning, remembering, and thinking all play a major role in solving the puzzle. Practice will help sharpen focus and apply their cognitive skills to their task at hand.
  • Visual Skills: To solve the puzzle, the child needs to scan the maze for possible solution and dead ends. This helps develop visual tracking coupled with memory to devise a solution out of the maze.
  • Patience: As the maze complexity can be scaled up to challenge older grades, patience can be developed. Time required to solve the puzzle is worth the reward of success, this is similar to video games in multiple attempts are needed to finally master a task so to move on and feel the “success” it takes patience.
  • Confidence Builder: Whether an easy or hard maze for the child, completing and solving the puzzle gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment. This will lift there mental spirit which might be only shared internally or celebrated externally.  Since they are only competing against themselves to improve and solve more difficult puzzles, there is no risk of failure as they can take as much time as they need. This is unlike video games and MMO style games which can frustrate more than build up a Childs spirit.
These are just a few we can think of while there are benefits to adults as well, similar to above but you can probably add just “exercising” your brain like an athlete exercising their muscles. Lets treat our brain like an athlete treats their body, lets keep our brain active!
 

So what are some options?

There are a number of ways to get into solving mazes. The easiest might be to purchase pre-made mazes or even download a free PDF with mazes. If you are so inclined, there is MazeCreator software to make your own mazes. There are several different versions which are targeted to different groups:
  • Parents: MazeCreator HOME offers the ability to create your own mazes and print them for your own or families use and entertainment.
  • Teachers: MazeCreator HOME offers the ability to create your own mazes and print them for your own or families use and entertainment. If you are looking to create workbooks, MazeCreator STD allows you to export images for worksheets.
  • Waiting Rooms: Again, MazeCreator HOME might work to print activities for children or adults to solve while waiting for service. The mazes can be themed for your business (Dentist, Auto, Doctor, Optometrist, etc.)
  • Non-profit Newsletter: Here MazeCreator STD is the most cost effective solution. Create your mazes and include them in your newsletter as an activity. A great hit and a good way to get your newsletters read!
  • Commercial Publisher: If you are looking to publish mazes, placemats, books, online, etc. MazeCreator PRO is your solution. This gives you an unlimited commercial release on your generated mazes.
Now, go forth and solve mazes! Make sure you can get our of Macy’s or the house of mirrors at your local amusement park!
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