Here's some fun things to do with all those paper towel and toilet paper rolls we've been collecting through the year for a rainy day project! (some projects require adult supervision)
Balancing: Give each child a tube and see how long they can balance them on the end of one finger. Advanced players can try balancing a tube with each hand.
Ball Flip: Add a double length string to one tube and place a large bead at the end of the string. Run the string through the tube and have children flip the bead until they can catch it back through. Or cover the bottom of the tube with paper so the bead will stay inside.
Stacking Tower: The one who can stack the most tubes end to end, without crashing, wins.
Airplane: Add wings, tail and wheels with construction paper or craft foam.
Bar Bells: Add balloons to the ends of a long tube for a pretend barbell.
Bird: Add wings, beak and tail out of construction paper, and tooth picks for the legs.
Bird Feeder: Tie a string abound the tube, add bird feed, and hang on a tree branch.
Binoculars: Tie two toilet paper rolls together and leave enough string to wear around the neck (this project is for older children).
Building Bridges and Castles: Use along with blocks for building bridges and castles.
Canoe: Cut tube lengthwise and staple the ends shut. Cut small seats out of wood craft sticks and glue in place.
Golf Clubs: Make this kid's toy out of leftover Christmas wrap rolls.
Guitar: Place paper towel tube into the short side of a tissue box to make a toy guitar.
Hobby Horse: Add an animal toy head and some yarn for the main, use wrapping paper rolls for this one.
Kaleidoscope: Fill tube with small objects and cover ends with colored waxed paper or plastic wrap, secure with tape or rubber bands.
Lincoln Logs: Cut notches into the ends of tubes so paper rolls will fit together as the popular blocks do.
Megaphone: Paper towel rolls are perfect for this, but try the wrapping paper ones for extra fun.
Maraca: Fill with beans, rice or sand and cover ends for this musical instrument.
Miniature Windsock: Decorate tube and add streamers all around one end. Add string or nylon wire to the top for hanging. Use several tubes in one spot for even more windy fun.
Napkin Rings: Cut into circular strips and decorate for the holidays, or with individual names for place settings.
Recorder: Punch holes along one side of tube and decorate. Make music by covering different holes with your fingers as you hum.
Streamers or Batons: Glue, tape or staple paper or cloth streamers to end of tubes.
Swords: Ditto the golf clubs.
Telescope: Decorate and use similar to binoculars.
Grown Up Stuff
Candle: Cover one end of the paper tube with heavy duty aluminum foil and use as a candle mold. Place wick down the middle of the tube, add crushed ice, then pour in melted wax and let set. Also can be used for making homemade chalk or giant crayons.
Fire Starter: Fill tubes with dried leaves and wrap with newspaper, twisting ends.
Pencil Holders: Cover one end, decorate outside of tube and place several around the house in convenient locations.
Storing Craft Supplies: Cover one end and store beads and small craft supplies inside, or leave both ends open and wrap yarn or craft thread around the outside of tube. Cut smaller pieces of tubing to make your own thread storage.
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Copyright 2002 by Michelle Jones