For Parents

For Parents

Toilet Paper Tubes

Wait! Don’t throw away that toilet paper tube!  Save those tubes from the trash can and repurpose them into a great toy, no DIY crafting necessary.  You can find a list of general play strategies here to help you discover what level of play your child is currently enjoying.  Included in italics are a variety of words and sentence ideas to use while playing.


  • Roll the tubes across the table, down a ramp (overturned books, puzzles, and baking sheets all make great ramps), or back and forth. (It’s rolling. It went down. We’re pushing it.)
  • Play a game of peek-a-boo while looking through the tube. (You’re under the blanket. You’re hiding. I found you!)
  • Stand a tube up on top of your head and let your child knock it down. (It fell down.)


  • Set up an array of tubes and encourage your child to knock them over bowling-style with a ball. (Ball. The ball is rolling. It crashed. The tubes fell down.)
  • If you have some yarn or other long string, you can thread the tubes like beads onto the string. (String. We’re pulling the string.)
  • Stack the tubes into a pyramid and have fun crashing them over. (A tower. The tower came down.)

Early Symbolic:

  • Tubes can serve as either tunnels or garages for small cars. (It’s a garage. The car is inside. It’s parked. It’s a tunnel. The car drove through the tunnel.)
  • Pretend to drink from the tubes like cups. (I poured the juice. We’re drinking.)

Advanced Play:

  • Pretend that the tubes are houses for little people or animals. You can cut out doors and make a little neighborhood of houses.
  • Pretend that the tubes are rockets and have fun blasting them off into outer space.