Monday, December 30, 2013


What do you do with your empty paper rolls? Trash? Recycling? Re-using in some way? 
My grandsons love the paper tubes, so I save them and we've done all the usual things - binoculars, telescopes, horns, even a chute for dry beans in our sensory play. They're a great play tool since they're kind of free, there are no parts that will hurt a child, and once they're used up they can go in the recycling. The problem is that they are not terribly sturdy and get "used up" fairly quickly. 
I'm trying to wade through the stacks and piles in the room where I store our art and play supplies, and came across a box of tubes. Shortly after, I saw a pin on Pinterest where the tubes were covered in colorful duct tape for play, which would be not only attractive, but give the tubes a longer life span. On my next trip to the marts of Wal, I grabbed some duct tape and spent some time yesterday afternoon wrapping paper tubes. My honey, who should know better than to ask, wondered "what are you doing now?", and I just chuckled. 
I wrapped two long ones and two short ones in each color, then a wide, heavy one got stripes. The boys call that the "rainbow tube". 
Bradley was excited by them as soon as he saw them. He and I sat on the playroom floor and had a little geometry lesson, making several shapes and using all sorts of words like "equal" and "pentagon" and counting corners and sides.

Then he wanted to create, so I left him to it.
(Yes, that's a Swiffer mop on the floor behind Brad. Silas was using it as a witch broom.
We'll talk about that another day. Sigh.) 
I loved when he tried to build vertically with the tubes.

Once Silas saw the fun, he decided to join in.
 He made them into telescope binoculars,

 and made a robot arm from the rainbow tube. 
We also practiced his color recognition and matching colors, but he was more interested in what he could do with them physically. His favorite thing to do was pretend to be a frog and jump around, scattering the tubes as he went. 

After seeing Silas wearing the robot arm, Brad thought it was fun to hang the short tubes on his ears. No, it didn't help with his listening skills. LOL.

Of course, all of this play could happen with plain paper tubes, but they really loved the bright colors. I have a ton of leftover duct tape to use on future projects as well. 

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Thanks for sharing!