As Archie’s grasp has been improving, he’s been going for smaller and smaller objects–leaves, stones, etc. However, they all also go from his hand to his mouth. So I’m thinking a bead maze might be a good way to satisfy his desire to practice his fine motor skills while remaining safe. It turns out, not only is there a huge selection of these bead mazes out there, but there’s a wide variety as well. So here’s a few, from simplest to most crazy, spectacular, elaborate, bizarre mazes.
1. ImagiPLAY Bear Bead Maze: Six beads, one wire, cute bear–that’s it. Simple, small, effective.
2. Melissa & Doug Deluxe First Bead Maze: Recommended for ages 12 months to 4 years, this bead maze has a good variety of bead shapes and colors, plus there’s two little abacus-like wires at the base. It’s still simple, with only a few wires, but has a lot of different shapes to explore
3. Educo Countdown Wire Maze: This maze takes the complexity of the maze design up a notch from the mazes above. The beads themselves are rubber, and the product description describes an outerspace theme with rockets, craters, and moons. I have to say that while I didn’t immediately see this and think “outerspace,” it could be how an imaginative kid approaches this maze.
4. City Beads Urban Wired Bead Maze: Now we’re stepping up into the deluxe territory. Trains, cars, and even planes move through land and sky in this cityscape. This base is actually raised up so that your kid can sit and play comfortably, plus it’s non-toxic!
5. Youniversity Wood Activity Cube: Holy crap. This is the like the Rolex of the wire bead maze world. Sitting on top of a wooden hexagon, this bead maze also involves a city theme, with a park, schoolhouse, and bike path. Moreover, the sides of the hexagon are covered in bells and whistles, like a color wheel, alphabet blocks and a counting tree.