Hello. About a year ago I had a heck of a time with two toddlers in a Pediatric 8’x8’ examination room full of equipment and syringes, etc. and no toys to entertain my kids. I’ve been to two other Pediatric offices and the same condition obtains: fun stuff in the waiting room, electronic equipment and syringes in the (typically cramped) waiting room for the average 20 minute wait. So my idea for a toddlers / young children entertaining, minimal-footprinted concept is a vertically-oriented circular maze that mounts on a wall and requires a child to get a super ball (loaded by the nurse for each child in the room; the ball / prize then leaves with the child) from one of the outer openings to the fixed core. There are a few ways of varying difficulty to get the balls to the core, and this is done by rotating the maze clockwise and counter-clockwise accordingly. The maze-- in order to receive a 1 3/4" (for safety purposes) ball-- is approximately 32" in diameter, and mounts via wall anchors through the center. I could of course knock more rows out, but it becomes a little less challenging in that regard.
There isn’t a theme in the concept pictured below yet, but one thought I had was to have a geological-strata-type earthy background getting progressively lighter towards the center, which would be sky blue with some green foliage imagery ringing the core (ie. going from the catacombs to the surface). You could have all manner of burrowing creatures (done in an artistically toddler-friendly fashion) such as snakes, worms, spiders, etc. throughout the maze (and on the spinning hand grips), and the balls could be rolly pollies (?) or other colorful beetles that the child is trying to navigate back to the surface. What say you? I’ve been playing with the germ of this idea for about a year now, and it’s changed dramatically from the acrylic poster-size 1" deep box full of fine-motor challenging levers navigating a ball up a box and back down again to this, which is a lot more gross motor and usable (hopefully) by a lot more kids of different capabilities, and hopefully easier to clean as well. This version is about a week old, and I’ve got a year’s worth of sketches, but thought this would be the easiest version for you to read. I look forward to your responses.