A maze is a very simple concept – find your way from one point to another point. How difficult that is depends on how many obstacles stand in your way and how complicated the path is. A neurologist defines the maze as this: A maze is something that other humans have created that acts as a challenge to one of our most important skills: the ability to create an ecocentric cognitive map of our environment and to navigate through that cognitive map.
It may be a simple idea, but it’s a benchmark for cognitive function. We’ve been putting rats in mazes for centuries, watching them use their little brains to try to solve the puzzle, but they are also very good for our cognitive function and especially for helping children develop those cognitive skills. Therapists rate mazes very highly.
Why mazes are good for children
- It helps with problem solving, developing the skills of planning by using various strategies to find out what works best, and looking ahead to see what dead-ends lie at the end of the path.
- It develops motor control as the child traces the path with a pencil without going over the lines, the same motor control that is used in handwriting.
- Using the visual motor, it helps improve hand-eye coordination, planning where the line should go next, and aids the skill of scanning a page to absorb the information.
- Mazes are confidence boosting, as with a little patience they can be easily solved and provide a direct reward. The difficulty can be tailored from the very simple for young children to the fiendishly hard for adults.
Use Bible Mazes in your Sunday School lessons
Ideal for young children, it is easy to use a maze to reinforce an element from a Bible story. Simply create a maze and then create the objective of reaching a destination or someone to meet. For example, when Jesus travelled to visit the woman in Samaria, or the Israelites crossed through the Red Sea are easy ideas to convey. Adding a couple of images helps the child remember the story better too.
You have a couple of options on finding mazes to use. Either you can create your own or you can print Bible mazes that have been prepared by others.
If you want to create your own here are some ideas:
- Hand drawn mazes are only limited by your talent and have that friendly feeling to them.
- Use Excel spreadsheet to create a grid with borders for each cell and then go through and remove the borders individually to create pathways.
- Use an online generator such as http://www.mazegenerator.net or http://mazesmith.sourceforge.net/mazesmith.htm
If you get really clever you can make mazes out of shapes that relate to the Bible story!
We have a selection of Bible Mazes on our Sunday School Resources site that can save you time…
Finally we have created the Ultimate Bible Maze for you. Click the image below to download the full PDF version. This is not easy!