Friday, September 10, 2010
LUCKY CHARMS: a maze without dead ends
Lucky Charms is one in a series of free printable mazes for you to enjoy.
One of the first things on my to do list once I arrived in Maine (coming from Jamestown, North Dakota), was to unpack. As meditative breaks from all the unpacking and unloading in a brand new part of America, I had a folder of unfinished art to work on. I had been meaning to finish this maze a long time ago, and it seemed a perfect distraction from all the clutter.
I love the idea of mazes without dead ends. It creates both a problem for the maze maker, and adds a different challenge to the maze runner. While creating the maze I had to figure out ways to make this challenging without any dead ends; one obvious way is to create loops. The other way to make a maze without dead ends challenging is by making way points (in this case lucky charm symbols) for the maze runner to collect during the maze. The third and best way to make a maze without dead end challenging is to make it disorienting, so you end up at the same spot multiple times or find yourself right next to a way point without actual getting to it. My solution was to make the maze go over and under itself which makes it hard to get a good bearing on which way you are going.
For the one doing the maze, the challenge is no longer about avoiding dead ends but about exploring the entire maze and remember which paths you have already taken. Even doing my own maze I found it challenging to find some of the charms before getting to the finish.
Below you will find a black and white version of this maze, if you prefer to save ink on the gray background: