Lately, I have been really mindful of creating less waste and making sure to reuse things. I had been collecting toilet paper rolls for months now in a bag under my sink. To make sure they were reused I was planning on sending them to Miss M’s school so they could use them for a project. But then I realized Spring Break is here and this might just be a way to entertain my own kids! That’s when I started thinking about ways we could do learning activities using toilet paper rolls. Another great way to keep your kiddos busy during spring break are with these 10 busy bags which are even good for traveling!
5 Learning Activities Using Toilet Paper Rolls
Draw a face on the bottom of the toilet paper roll. Then cut from the top down to make it frayed around the top. For younger kids or new to cutting you will want to make the pieces very thin so they can easily cut them. Also, keep in mind that the toilet paper roll does overlap in some parts. I simply only cut the slit down until it overlapped. It was a bit hard for me to cut so I figured my little one would struggle with it. This will leave the slits at different lengths. But that’s okay! It will just give the character’s hair some style! You can also do this activity with paper bag haircuts.
This is a fun activity for kids to practice their fine motor skills and cutting. I would say this is not a beginner cutting activity, but more so for kiddos who can manage at least holding scissors correctly and have snipping down.
Toilet paper rolls make great pieces for building. You can cut some rolls in half or add paper towel rolls to add different sizes. Find some cardboard or file folders to cut into rectangles. This allows them to stack the tubes. I lined up two rolls next to each other to see how long the rectangle needed to be and then also made some that fit for three rolls next to each other.
Another option for more advanced fine motor skills is you can slit the rolls down a bit on both tops and bottoms. Four slits on each side. This allows the rolls to slide into each other and stand alone without needing the flat pieces to stack. You can also label the rolls with numbers so they can stack in order or add them as they stack.
Stacking and building is a fundamental activity for fine and gross motor skills along with imagination, figuring out space and cause and effect.
Start by cutting the toilet paper roll in half. Then hole punch holes all over it. We used straws to stick through the wholes so my youngest could do it easily. If your kids are a little more skilled you could also use string which makes it a bit more challenging.
Be mindful that hole punches and straws are very close in size. Make sure that the straws can slide in easily before handing these over to your kiddos. If they are the same size you kiddo will not be able to get the straws in the hole, become frustrated and cry. Talking from experience here!
Lacing is actually a great learning activity for pre-writing!
Cut the toilet paper tubs using wavy scissors or make your own designs. Cut down about a third of the roll. Then push the pieces back to ensure they can go flat into the paint. The different cuts create different shapes and textures when painting. No need for fancy paint brushes to do that.
Personally, I struggle with wanting to let my girls paint. Because they make a huge mess! Doing it this way allowed them to have a place for their hands to stay nice and clean. That way I could release my control and let their imagination and creativity go!
5. Number Order
This learning activity incorporates a few thing which is always fun! Lay out a mini obstacle course using tape and toilet paper rolls. Label the rolls with numbers and put them in order using curves or turns. Then get a small cotton ball or pom pom and a straw. The kids blow the pom pom in numerical order through the rolls. They are challenged by keeping the pom pom on the tape, but also figuring out how much force to use when blowing through the straw.
Another thing for the younger kids is they get to figure out where their body needs to go to be able to blow the pom pom in the correct direction to get it closer to the number they need next. There are several moving parts to this learning activity which means they may need some guidance in the beginning.
Make this activity harder by using letters or counting by 5’s. You could even do the letters in their name or alphabetical words. There are so many options!
Hopefully, you can use these activities the next time you have a few toilet paper rolls laying around that need to be used up. Who knew you could create so many learning activities using toilet paper rolls?! The great thing is you can pass these off to another mom friend when you are done with them or just throw them in the recycling bin. My girls are currently loving toys and learning activities that are a bit different and not out of a package. The best part for me is they are so entertained by things we already have around the house! You can also try this rainbow candy experiment with supplies you have around the house too.
What kind of activities have you done with toilet paper rolls before?
Until Next Time- Truly Love,