K1 Activity 4 – An Amazing Maze Challenge At The Ooops And Yays Shop


Life can sometimes feel like a maze of challenges. Perhaps one of the best ways to help students understand the importance of growth mindset is to invite them to create challenges for each other and you. In this activity, students will create ping-pong ball mazes out of boxes, tubes, and clay. Get ready for some fun!


Student use the Ooops And Yays song as inspiration to discuss how to tackle a challenge when it gets hard and then practice by building a challenging maze.

Principle Overview

Look around and you will notice friends and family who are really good at some things and not so good at others. While adults might grasp this as something normal, students often don’t and can perceive their own strengths and weaknesses in distorted ways. When we demonstrate our own strengths and weaknesses, we help students come to terms with their own, and help dispel the illusion that any of us are better, worse, more, or less worthy than others.


Goals and Objectives:

  • Experiment with challenges.
  • Demonstrate positive behaviors while dealing with challenges.
  • Learn to talk out a challenge when you disagree with a friend.
  • Have the Growth Mindset chart available.
  • Write the last two verses of the Ooops And Yays song on chart paper.
    • Ooops! This is new and so hard to get
    • Ooops! And I’m starting to get upset
    • Ooops! I don’t know what to do
    • But I’m going to keep on trying. What about you?
  • Ask parents to help with materials by sending in cardboard boxes, paper towel tubes, etc..
  • When complete, ask students to think about ways they had to use resilience (their ability to adjust, adapt, and make-do in challenging situations) during this activity and to share with the class.
Knowing about strengths and weaknesses in ourselves and others helps us grow, learn, and work together. The Me Too! Oh, Wait! Not Me! skill builder helps students gain an understanding of their individual strengths and weaknesses and the diversity of those in their class. They also think about how to encourage their peers to use their strengths and keep trying when they struggle with a weakness.

  • Encourage students to use the Me Too! Oh, Wait! Not Me! game signs as you discuss feelings about being faced with a challenge and share ways to keep trying. This can be a difficult topic for children to discuss and using nonverbal signs can provide a sense of safety in sharing.
Skill Builder
Use these visual resources to enhance the student experience in this unit.

View In Resources

Activity Steps

  • Connector.

    Start the activity by introducing children to the word “challenge.” Ask:

    What is a challenge?
    Who likes a challenge?
    Who doesn’t?

    Discuss how sometimes a challenge can feel too hard or overwhelming, or how sometimes it can feel exciting and inspiring. If possible, give an example of a challenge from your own life.

  • Connector.

    Listen to the Ooops And Yays song together. Point out the last two verses which talk about the feelings that might arise when dealing with challenges and the decision to keep on trying.

    Ooops! This is new and so hard to get
    Ooops! And I’m starting to get upset
    Ooops! I don’t know what to do
    But I’m going to keep on trying. What about you?


    Do you ever feel upset when something is hard?
    Do you feel like giving up or keep on trying?

  • Connector.

    Remind students of your discussions about growth mindset. Revisit the chart that was used in Activity 2. Ask:

    Which approach to a challenge would be the most successful?
    Which approach is growth mindset and which is fixed mindset?

  • Connector.

    Show the collected boxes, tubes, ping-pong balls, straws, and clay, and explain that this growth mindset activity will be a challenge. Instruct them to find a partner and use the materials to create a ping-pong ball maze in their box. Let them know that they can create it any way they want, using all or any of the materials.

  • Connector.

    As they work, remind students that there are several ways the ball can move through the maze. For example, they might try moving the box to roll the ball or blow on the ball with a straw. Encourage students to test out their maze as they build it to see if it works. They might not always agree with a partner’s idea. If they meet a challenge, remind them to stay with it and try it a new way and to talk it out.

  • Connector.

    Uncle Jim’s Ooops And Yays song ends with reference to “The Ooops and Yays Shop:”

    Yay! We got through that
    Yay! Now we’re chilling like a kitty cat
    Yay! Perhaps this is a good time to stop
    Thank you for listening at The Ooops and Yays Shop

    Ask students to display their finished creations on a table or shelf in the room that you call “The Ooops and Yays Shop.”

  • Connector.

    Invite students to go ‘shopping’ to find a maze they want to try with their partner. They can take turns trying it and encouraging each other. Once they have mastered the maze, they can take it back to the ‘shop’ to choose another one to try.

  • Connector.

    Gather students to reflect on the experience of creating and trying the challenges with a partner. Ask:

    What was hard to do?
    What was easy?
    Did you feel like giving up?
    Did you keep going?

  • Connector.

    Share this verse with students:

    Ooops! Looks like we disagree
    Ooops! What do we say? Let’s wait and see
    Ooops! Maybe we’ll take a break?
    It’s no fun when we both have an ache
    Yay! We came back and talked it out
    Yay! We didn’t give up and didn’t even shout
    Yay! Now we’re shaking hands
    The more we listen, the more we understand

  • Connector.

    Focus on the growth mindset experience of working with a partner. Ask:

    Did you disagree with your partner?
    How did you handle your disagreement?
    Did you have any “ooops” and “yays” while working together?
    How did that feel?

  • Connector.

    Expand the experience by inviting another class to come and try your mazes. Observe their experience. Are they using fixed or growth mindset?

Visit the FAQ for More Information

Have questions? Need help? Ask questions and discuss this unit, the IM4U Principles, and more in our Q&A focused area.