Your backyard is the best place where you can build playgrounds and fun spaces for your kids. Instead of taking them to the park, they can have all the amount of fun they want right in their home. By learning how to make a labyrinth for them, you can get the best way to keep them entertained. Moreover, a labyrinth is the best place where you can relax and meditate.
What is a labyrinth?
A labyrinth is made up of an intricate pattern containing twirls which lead to a central point. As opposed to a maze, which is more confusing and hard to follow, a labyrinth has one single path. It starts from a point, then it performs a few spirals until it reaches a dead-end in the center. Then, you are supposed to go back and exit the structure in the same place where you entered.
Therefore, it shouldn’t be difficult to follow the path of a labyrinth. In fact, such patterns are often used for relaxation and meditation, as they should induce a state of calmness and peace. Also, they can be the best place where you can play. If you want to make your kids go outside more, learn how to make a labyrinth and bring the fun to your backyard.
Steps on how to make a labyrinth
Step 1 – Choose the design
Before starting building the formation, you have to settle on a design you like and find most appealing. You can get as creative as you like but, to make sure you can recreate the design, choose something not too complicated.
Once you’ve settled on the model, print it on a piece of paper. Then, draw some grid lines on top of it. This way, you will be able to transpose the labyrinth on a bigger scale, and learn how to build a foundation on the ground. These grid lines will intersect the line of the labyrinth in certain points, and this will be your first foundation. Also, don’t forget to pick a scale big enough to let your kids walk the path of the labyrinth.
Step 2 – Pick the material
Before starting the building process, you have to choose what material you want to use. Again, you can get creative, but it depends on how much work you want to do. You can use anything from rope, stones, wood, cloth strings, to something more complicated, like vegetation, stone flooring, or water.
You might not be willing to make great changes to your backyard, such as digging gutters. Also, filling them up with water won’t allow your kids to walk the path of the labyrinth. Planting vegetation or paving the ground is costly and it takes time, so it’s easier to pick something from the first options.
Before starting, keep in mind some more details. If you choose the low-cost materials, you have to get them fixed to the ground. Steel stakes are probably the best to keep whatever material in place. Choose one of the most important intersection nodes from your grid line plan, and fix the stakes in these places. Also, make sure you bend these stakes over the rope or cloth.
Step 3 – Choose the area where you’ll build the labyrinth
Once you’ve chosen the scale, you have to decide where to make the labyrinth. Choose the best patch of ground judging both from dimensions and from the type of soil. If grass grows around it, it’s better to cover it with some sand or mulch. Also, make sure the ground is not too wet or muddy.
Step 4 – Mark the surface on the ground
After you’ve settled the strategy, it’s time to go out and start the building. Invite your kids to help you, as this will be a fun activity as well. Also, it will feel good for them to know you can count on them. Measure the area you are about to use, and mark it inside a square. Use small pieces of wood, and insert them in the ground 16 inches apart from each other. Then, tie some thick string between these points.
Step 5 – Build the grid lines on the ground
To make it easier for you to start building the labyrinth, use the same method you used on paper. Look at the grid lines drawn on the model, and recreate them on the ground. Tie strings to each piece of wood until you get more smaller squares inside the bigger one. Also, to make sure you won’t get confused by too many strings, mark each coordinate with a number and letter.
Step 6 – Mark the nodes
Once you have the grids, you can now look for the intersections. This way, it will be easier for you to create the spiral pattern. Identify the most important nodes on the paper, and then look at their coordinates. Mark them on the ground with a combination of numbers and letters, such as 6B or 7G.
Step 7 – Start fixing the material in the nodes
The nodes build a path for the outline of your labyrinth. Choose where you want to start from, and insert a steel stake. Then, fix the material with the bent stake. Then, choose the next node and do the same. Continue until you finish the first batch of material.
Step 8 – Connect the second batch of material to the first one
A labyrinth has a complex design, so you will need plenty of material to build its outline. This means you will need more ropes or pieces of cloths. Once you’re done fixing the first one, tape the second batch to it.
Then repeat the steps, and do the same with any batch needed. Make sure you render the twirls properly, and fix the stakes so that it won’t escape. Once you’re done, the labyrinth should look like the one you have on paper. Your kids will burst out with enthusiasm, but the pattern is not ready for walking yet.
Step 9 – Pay attention to details
Look at the preliminary state of the labyrinth and establish if it looks as it should. Arrange the twirls and avoid any sharp angle. If the material seems loose in certain points, add one more stake to keep it in place.
Step 10 – Remove the grids
To achieve the intended dramatic effect, only the outline of the labyrinth should stay on the ground. If you are done with building, it means it’s time for you to remove the grid lines. Carefully remove the wood pieces which kept these strings in place. Make sure you don’t disturb the material building up the outline of the labyrinth.
In case the string is trapped under this material, you can cut it and set it free. However, it should slip easily once you remove the wooden piece which kept it fixed. Do not skip this step, as it’s probably the most important. If your kids get too excited, they might no longer pay attention and trip over these strings. This way, they might get injured, and the fun quickly turns into a disaster. In the end, the labyrinth is ready for them to start playing.
What is a labyrinth good for?
Once you’ve learned how to build a labyrinth, you also have to know what you can do with it. Of course, this is a great way to keep your kids occupied and convince them to spend some time outside. They might become fascinated by the intricate twists of the formation, and may ask you what its purpose is.
You might find yourselves incredibly calm and relaxed after walking the labyrinth. In fact, it’s quite a common practice in meditation to take refuge in a garden with such a design. Walking its path might help you clear your mind, concentrate on what matters, and take a break from everyday life.
Your kids might not seek relaxation, but the labyrinth will definitely fascinate them. It might spice their interest for spiritual matters, though, and they might grow up wanting to find out more about labyrinths and their history.
This is how to make a labyrinth in a relatively cheap and easy way. By following these steps, you can create a playground for your kids right in your backyard. This way, you won’t have to take them to special playhouses or parks. Also, you will definitely convince them to spend less time playing videogames or watching TV.
Moreover, a labyrinth can be educational. By making it together, you can teach the little ones how to build things and be practical. Also, you will definitely spice their interest about such formations. You can start by telling them the ancient myth of the labyrinth, and then let them discover more stories and uses.
In the end, the best thing about building this type of formation is the fact that it’s not permanent. If you want to regain the aspect of your garden, you can remove the materials and destroy the labyrinth. It can be both a temporary summer fun, or a permanent structure in your backyard.